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UAE operators welcome BlackBerry ban reprieve

Du and Etisalat to continue to offer BlackBerry services after planned ban lifted

UAE operators welcome BlackBerry ban reprieve
Both operators had issued alternate service packages for BlackBerry customers, which will now be withdrawn.

Telecoms operators Du and Etisalat have reacted to the news that there will be no ban on BlackBerry services in the UAE from next week.

In statements released Friday, both operators, who have a duopoly of the UAE telecoms market, said that they would continue to provide BlackBerry services without interruption.

Etisalat, which holds around 80% of the UAE BlackBerry user base of an estimated 500,000 devices, said in a statement issued via state news agency WAM: "Since the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority's August 1 announcement regarding the possible suspension of certain Blackberry applications, our focus has always been to ensure continuity of service for our customers."

Etisalat also announced that replacement packages for BlackBerry subscribers would no longer be valid, and that it plans to launch two new BlackBerry devices, the Torch and a new model of Curve, in the next few days.

Du, which has around 100,000 BlackBerry subscribers, issued an identical statement: "Since the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority's August 1 announcement regarding the possible suspension of certain Blackberry services, our focus has always been to ensure continuity of service for our customers."

Du was the first operator to announce alternate services for BlackBerry subscribers, but had said at the time that the packages would not be continued if the ban was lifted.

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