What caused the delay in BlackBerry technology reaching Russian shores?
BlackBerry technology, which is widely utilized throughout the world, was delayed in Russia because of a dispute between Research In Motion (RIM) and the Federal Security Service (FSB) over BlackBerry encryption software. The FSB, which issues certificates dealing with data encryption, demanded that the Canadian company, RIM, reveal their encryption codes for security purposes. RIM refused, causing a deadlock, which was not broken until almost the end of last year. According to news sources, both sides have now given the go ahead for the smart phones to go on sale.
What services can be expected with these new Blackberry smart phones?
The two major mobile phone providers in Russia, namely, MTS and VimpelCom, will be importing several thousand handheld smart phones developed by RIM, which will support push e-mail, web browsing, internet access, and a full range of multimedia and mobile phone services. MTS is expected to sell 7,800 phones from the following four models: 8100 Pearl, 8300 Curve, 8700g and 8800 although VimpelCom aka Beeline, plans only to promote the 8700g model. Russia's third biggest mobile operator, Megafon, has claimed that it will soon launch a technology to compete with BlackBerry, but so far the statement is just words.
According to an MTS spokesperson:
“We plan to provide corporate clients with secured access to corporate e-mail and BlackBerry applications early in the second quarter of 2008.”
It is estimated that there are approximately 8 million BlackBerry users all over the world.
Welcome Russia to the mix.