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BlackBerry free voice service being blocked in UAE

Can things get any worse for the struggling Canadian telecommunications business? It certainly seems that at every turn Research In Motion have a new fire to fight, and this time it is the fact that both Etisalat and Du are rejecting the free voice service included in the latest BlackBerry software.

The feature itself allows BlackBerry owners to call each other with zero costs. It is essentially a voice version of their popular BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service, which creates a level of connectedness that all other phones manufacturers have struggled to replicate. The BlackBerry Messenger Voice feature has been successful for the company so far, but the reservations from the networks is understandable. Essentially with users now being able to avoid using minutes to call each other, the networks could potentially lose out because of the feature.

This is why RIM are locked in last minute talks with the popular UAE networks, in a bid to include the feature on their handsets. Currently, this market is one of the largest and most important to BlackBerry, which makes the talks even more critical. The UAE and Persian Gulf is a region where BlackBerry’s market share is higher than their global average, making the feature of vital importance to their customers and future market share.

At the moment, there is no telling if an agreement will be made and the service will be available for customers in the region. RIM have stated that “we continue to work closely with our partners in the United Arab Emirates to bring BlackBerry services to our customers”.