RIM makes final offer to avoid India BlackBerry ban

The Waterloo, Canadian-based maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), is having final negotiations with top-level officials from the government of India in an attempt to satisfy security concerns that would avoid a nation wide ban of the BlackBerry.

In the most recent developments today, Research In Motion offered the government of India to organize and lead an industry wide forum on mobile communications and privacy, and their relationship with national security.

The government of India argues the BlackBerry platform is the only communication medium in the country that currently cannot be monitored, and that terrorists and criminals could use the messaging phone to freely communicate securely without worrying about government monitoring.

 The current deadline to ban BlackBerry devices in the country is only days away, on August 31st.

There are currently 1.1-million BlackBerry subscribers in the country, including government officials and business users. Despite the fact the country’s operations and productivity would be significantly adversely affected, the government of India says it will proceed with the ban if an acceptable solution (which includes direct monitoring) is not found by the deadline.

A number of other nations, particularly emerging economies, have made the same case in point as has India concerning security, and other nations such as the United Arab Emirates, has also set forward a deadline to ban the devices.

It is highly unlikely the government of India will find the latest offer from RIM acceptable, since it does not really address the key concerns of monitoring.

With more than 1-million subscribers in the country, a extension of the deadline could be but forward, as the implications of a ban could have widespread adverse implications the government of India is not ready to handle.

Research In Motion said today in a statement late afternoon that it remains committed to address security concerns foreign governments have, while they also ensure the privacy of customers’ communications.

RIM is facing intensifying competition, as rivals such as Google and Apple are able to provide on par communication, at least on a consumer or small business level, with a far better user experience.

The company hopes to revamp its operating system to provide a better user experience with better Internet browsing (with Flash compatibility), among other new features.

The RIM stock (TSE:RIM) lost 2.47-percent in today’s trading session closing at $49.45 per share.

The same trend was true on the NASDAQ, where the company closed down nearly 2-percent to $46.84 per share.

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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to [email protected]
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