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Oct 142013
 

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shak_profileThis is great news for those who travel often outside the United States. T-Mobile just announced that they will be offering unlimited data usage in more than 100 countries for their US customers. I been a big fan of T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi calling features on older BlackBerry models, and they recently released an app for Blackberry 10. Why I love this feature is that when I travel abroad I can call, send text messages, using the Wi-Fi calling without incurring roaming charges. Now they are making it even easier for customers to use their devices and stay connected while traveling abroad.  The company recently signed a deal with super star Latin singer Shakira and part of their strategy is leading to todays announcement. Here is what they said during the deal announcement with Shakira:

“Today is all about bringing the world closer together,” said Shakira. “I’m excited to partner with T-Mobile and look forward to being able to share my music in new and innovative ways.”
“Shakira is an extraordinary, global entertainer who certainly understands the importance of being connected while she travels the world,” said Mike Sievert, CMO, T-Mobile. “She has a passion for communicating with her fans across many platforms and we knew that we could.

 

Following up with today announcement I can see how they plan to use Shakira’s popularity to market their new offerings to their current and potential customer base. Regarding today’s announcement this is what the CEO said: Continue reading »

Mar 012012
 

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BlackBerry India

After months (maybe even a couple of years) of deliberation and pressure from the Indian government, RIM has decided to install a BlackBerry server in Mumbai. India have long wanted to be able to intercept and monitor corporate messages going through BES as well as BlackBerry Messenger and RIM had held off giving in to the idea, until now. By setting up these servers it allows Indian officials to ‘lawfully intercept its messenger services‘.

Security agencies have already tested the servers for effectiveness and would shortly release guidelines on the ‘permission for direct linkage for lawful interception of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) services‘. There are currently 5000 Enterprise Servers for BES in India however Nehchal Sandhu Director of Intelligence Bureau stated that communication there would only be between companies and employees, therefore would not be of high concern for Intelligence agencies.

Licensing conditions state that local service providers must setup a mechanism that lets security agencies intercept any conversation or message sent by any BlackBerry subscriber anytime it is required. So, all carriers that offer the BlackBerry service in the country must make sure they can provide information to security and Intelligence agencies when they are asked for.

Source: Times of India
(Image Credit)

CB

Dec 242011
 

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Is your cellphone bad for your health? India’s government seems to think so, because it’s planning a law that will require all phones to display how much electro-magnetic radiation they generate. Radiation is measured in SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) and the Indian limit has been lowered to match the USA’s 1.6W/kg, whereas before it followed the European ceiling of 2W/kg. But even handsets that meet this criterion may have to declare their SAR level, and also carry a message asking people to keep their calls or short or use SMS instead — implying that the Indian government regards radiation as dangerous at any level.

[Thanks, Yogesh]

sourceTimes of India

 

Engadget

 

Jun 242011
 

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Worst part of censorship

A developer of popular BlackBerry apps, Shane, let me know that he was contacted by RIM with an interesting issue with his apps. According to RIM streaming applications are not permitted for sale in the Middle East. They are removing availability of streaming apps in App World for users in the Middle East for all currently approved apps and new apps.

The list of Middle east countries banned from streaming apps is: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan,Kuwait,Lebanon,Oman,Pakistan,Qatar,Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

 

I have never heard of such a restriction where streaming apps are not allowed in the Middle East. It makes me wonder if RIM Legal is pulling some CYA or if this is an actual restriction imposed by other stores. RIM flagged Shane’s police scanner apps but it makes me wonder what RIM means by “Streaming Applications.” I wonder if Nobex and other streaming radio apps are included. This is why I think it is a slippery slope for RIM to only allow BlackBerry PlayBook apps through App World. That is an Apple strategy that just helps enforce censorship since everything is centralized.

Let us know if you figure out any more!

Here is the email RIM is sending out:

Dear Mr X,

This email is to inform you that any streaming applications, including police scanners, are not permitted for sale in the Middle East. Please remove the following countries from any future application submissions of this type. The applicable changes are currently being made to the applications as they are approved. Please note this will not happen moving forward.

Also, if we have missed the country restriction on any applicable applications please make the necessary changes or feel free to inform us.

List of Middle East countries:

– Bahrain

– Egypt

– Jordan

– Kuwait

– Lebanon

– Oman

– Pakistan

– Qatar

– Saudi Arabia

– United Arab Emirates

– Yemen

Thank you for your continued interest in BlackBerry App World.

Regards,

BlackBerry App World Team

 

 

via:bbr

Jun 232011
 

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PlayBook India

RIM has been making good on their promise to bring the BlackBerry PlayBook to 16 additional markets. Their latest addition is India where they are now selling the BlackBerry PlayBook. The PlayBook is plastered all over the BlackBerry India homepage and Facebook page for the launch. Shahzoor from BBIn.in let me know the pricing at:

 

BlackBerry PlayBook 16GB (WiFi model) – Rs. 27,990
BlackBerry PlayBook 32GB (WiFi model) – Rs. 32,990
BlackBerry PlayBook 64GB (WiFi model) – Rs. 37,990

It will be really interesting to see how the BlackBerry PlayBook takes off internationally because in many countries the Bridge feature is a godsend. The PlayBook doesn’t need its own data plan to get email and browse the web which is a big cost consideration.

via:bbr

Jun 022011
 

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At a special preview in Dubai, the BlackBerry PlayBook was the center of attraction among special guests. While excitement at the VIP event was high, so were the expectations of the guests – the BlackBerry PlayBook seemed premature to some. Not content with the performance of RIM’s tablet, one guest noted that “They [RIM] should have waited until the PlayBook had everything loyal BlackBerry mobile users want and need.” Although I agree to some extent, it is quite funny and ironic that RIM had banners set up with the text “Yeah, you should have waited.

All negativity aside, the BlackBerry PlayBook did deliver on many aspects such as robust hardware and snappy software – as can be seen in the video above. Sandeep Saighal, Managing Director for the Middle East at RIM, made an appearance at the event, reminding everyone that the BlackBerry PlayBook is “going to change the way you do business… this is just a small teaser, the best is yet to come.” As far as launch date, it has been confirmed that EMS will distribute the BlackBerry PlayBook through select retail outlets from June 12th. Babar Khan, CEO of EMS, is not only excited, but expects RIM’s tablet to shake up the Emirati market: “After experiencing a successful launch in North America we look to continue this within our region, where smartphone penetration is very high. With features such as seamless integration with a BlackBerry smartphone, Docs To Go for document editing and HDMI output, we expect the BlackBerry PlayBook to become an essential tool for this region’s businesses.

What do you think? Personally, I believe that most of what has been said in the video is true, but I already knew about the limitations of the BlackBerry PlayBook in its current form. And, as said in the video, functionality can be expanded through software updates, which is an important feature in my opinion. I think the BlackBerry PlayBook is a great tablet in its own right, especially the Web browser.

What concerns me, however, is that the BlackBerry PlayBook is heading to the Middle East without being ready for it – Arabic input is lacking, as is the support for certain Unicode languages in general. Case in point, Word to Go can’t even handle Arabic documents properly. But then again, this is all software we are talking about. Here’s hoping that a software update with support for Unicode languages is on its way, lest RIM be ruining their opportunities in the Middle East – a big market for them.

Source: Gulf News; via: Zawya

 

May 202011
 

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20110517706

One of our readers, Thamer, stopped by the BlackBerry booth at GITEX in Saudi Arabia and got some good news. According to Thamer RIM and STC announced that they will be selling the BlackBerry PlayBook in Saudi Arabia starting June 25th with full Arabic read and write support. They also mentioned that App World would be available on STC later this month.

Here are some pictures of the event:

Continue reading »

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