RIM faces new Indonesia ban threats

Canadian handset maker says it had fulfilled promises made to Indonesia and describes new threats to block its service as "mixed and contradictory messages", but pledges to "work through" any concerns, reports reveal.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Research In Motion (RIM) is facing fresh threats from Indonesian authorities after the country alleged the former had not fulfilled its end of the agreement made in January to ensure BlackBerry services were not cut off. The Canadian handset maker, however, refuted the charge and said it would "work through" any concerns of the Indonesian communications officials.

According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report Sunday, telecommunications officials in Indonesia had revived threats of blocking RIM's popular e-mail and instant messaging functions on its BlackBerry devices because the vendor had not gone far enough to meet the agreements stated in January.

In the January agreement, RIM was to work on four areas: increasing the number of service centers in Indonesia; restricting access to negative content such as pornography; helping law enforcement officials track messages and e-mail from suspected criminals; and placing an aggregator closer to Indonesia, giving local cellular operators lowers costs and higher speeds for their BlackBerry services, the report noted.

The latest complaints were sparked off after RIM chose to locate its aggregator in Singapore, instead of Indonesia, WSJ stated. "We are totally dissatisfied. They promised us they would establish a network aggregator," said Gatot Dewa Broto, chief of public relations at Indonesia's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, noting that this did not happen as expected.

However, RIM said that it came through on its promises and was surprised by these new threats, the report said. "We are getting mixed and contradictory messages through the media [about what Indonesia expects]," said Gregory Wade, regional managing director at RIM.

In a separate Reuters report on Sunday, David Paterson, vice president of government relations at RIM, added that it would "work through" the concerns of the authorities. "I'm quite confident we'll work through this without any significant negative impacts."

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