Govt rules out banning Blackberry services

Govt rules out banning Blackberry services
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First Published: Fri, Mar 14 2008. 01 59 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Mar 14 2008. 01 59 PM IST
New Delhi: Amid raging controversy over Blackberry operations by mobile service providers, the government ruled out banning the service on 14 March, but said security aspects would be looked into.
“We will discuss the issue in the Telecom Commission... the country’s security is of paramount importance,” Telecom Minister A Raja told reporters on sidelines of a function.
The government is in discussion with the cellular operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Reliance Communications and the issue would be resolved soon.
Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura said, “We are keen to resolve the issue at the earliest but there is no question of banning the Blackberry services.”
The issue of Blackberry services came to light after Tata Teleservices was denied permission by the Ministry of Home Affairs to launch services due to security concerns.
The Tatas had claimed each value-added service including Blackberry service has be approved by the government before it is offered to subscribers.
Even the state-owned BSNL is in the process to launch Blackberry service provided regulatory issues were resolved, BSNL director (Finance) S D Saxena said.
Developed by Canadian firm Research In Motion (RIM), Blackberry is a patented service that allows access to e-mails on mobile phones just like SMS on conventional mobile phones.
“We are ready to launch the Blackberry service provided the regulatory issues are resolved. If the issues are resolved now, then we can launch our service in one month,“ Saxena said.
Currently, a number of telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications are currently offering Blackberry services to their users.
On the issue of spectrum, the Minister said spectrum issues are expected to be resolved soon to the satisfaction and fairness of all concerned.
“We will roll out the spectrum during the regime of this UPA government,” he added.
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First Published: Fri, Mar 14 2008. 01 59 PM IST