Last July, the PTA or Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said it would shutdown the Blackberry Enterprise Services or BES on December 1 due to reasons of security.
The issue is believed to be centered on the encryption Blackberry uses in emails, messages from BBM and other types of data from users, which prevented the Pakistani authorities from accessing the information that they have called necessary for the country’s national security.
At that time, Blackberry remained silent, but now the Canadian based company, which just recently has launched its first handset that is Android based, has confirmed it is going to exit the country, which has a population of over 180 million.
Blackberry said it would leave after the end of November due to refusing to grant authorities in Pakistan access to systems.
While the PTA has been focused only on establishing access to the BES, Blackberry announced it had decided to withdraw its entire business including the consumer side which is BIS or Blackberry’s Internet Services, as well.
While it is not completely clear how many clients both consumer and business that Blackberry has inside Pakistan, the Canadian phone maker has had its consumer market share drop to its lowest ever, even in the emerging markets where at one time it was king.
This has been caused by the lower cost devices operating on Android with more options and apps to choose from.
Because of that, a presence in the enterprise space is important, although even that piece of the pie has been gobbled up by Apple as well as Android handset makers.
Pakistan is not likely to be one of Blackberry’s major sources of revenue and looking at this move positively it shows the company taking a stand for user security and data, two areas where the company has believed for years that it could stand apart from its competition, particularly in its enterprise space.
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