11/17/2009

No new Blackberrys Until Local Office Opens, Ministry Says

Indonesia has temporarily halted issuing licences for new types of BlackBerry smartphones, pending the opening of a local branch office said on Thursday.
The Communication and information Technology Ministry has informed cellphone operators and importers of the decision, ministry spokesman Gatot S Dewantoro said. " it is because RIM is still relucant to open a branch office in Indonesia, particularly for aftersales services," he added, referring to blackBerry producer Reaseach in motion.
However, Gatot said that the decision only affected licenses for upcoming BlackBerry models.
Several of the nation's telecommunications operators had planned to launch models in the third quarter, including a lowcost CDMA phone.
The goverment estimates that the number of "legal" BlackBerry users may exceed one millon by year's end.
Gatot said that the government would review imports of the smartphones and "if there are new types of blackberrys then they are illegal."
The government duscussed its demand for a branch office with RIM's vice president, Robert E. Crow, on june 15, but the company could only promise to conduct a feasibility study.
Adita Irawati, Vice president of corporate communications at PT Indosat, said that her company was working with the government in hopes of proceeding with its planned of a CDMA BlackBerry model.
" HOwever, we also support the government's effort to ask RIM to open a branch in indonesia," she said." that would help cut costs and lower prices."
RIM's Asia Pacific media relations representative, Kathie Lee, said in an e-mail that " RIM is working with the government to address market needs in indonesia."

Janeman Latul

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