RIM clarifies Dubai-based BlackBerry confusion

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dubai.jpgIt’s never fun when a company goes out of their way and behind another’s back to make some waves. That’s exactly what happened recently in Dubai when STC, a major wireless carrier, started carrying BlackBerry devices after signing an agreement with Alcatel, even though just six months prior, a STC exec said that there’d been no talk going on involving their company and the BlackBerry.

This left Mobily, a company with exlcusive dealing rights for the BlackBerry with Emitac Solutions, with their eyebrow’s raised and ears steaming. Apparently, immediately after Mobily signed their agreement, STC seeked out Alcatel, a tier one RIM partner, to help them release the BlackBerry in Dubai, up against Mobily’s offerings. There had been a lot of speculation about how this came about, and recently, a rep from RIM cleared up any confusion.

“As EMS had signed an exclusive contract with us, RIM pushed STC towards Alcatel which is a worldwide provider of BlackBerry solutions. Despite the fact that Alcatel has not been active in this region with BlackBerry, STC managed to conclude the deal and compete with us to offer the solution,” said the senior Mobily executive on condition of anonymity.

Khaled Kefel, director of sales for RIM’s Middle East operations, confirmed the deal between his firm and STC but was unable to elaborate on how STC was able to tie up with BlackBerry despite suggesting only several months ago that RIM was not looking to tie up with the region’s largest telecommunications provider.

“RIM currently works with several distributor partners in the region. When we last had our discussion, only Mobily at that time had launched BlackBerry in KSA, and they had done so through a contract they signed with Emitac Mobile Solutions of Dubai. I believe that STC now is selling BlackBerry, and it’s through another distributor in the region.”

Come on, Dubai-based carriers. Life’s too short for petty fights like this. It’s just a little healthy competition. I think Mobily’s just jealous that STC’s gone all-out in their marketing efforts to turn eyes away from the competitor. They’ve even gone as far as loaning out BlackBerry devices to corporations so they can get hooked.

Oh, CRACKBerry… I get it now.

  • http://www.emiratesmac.com/ Magnus

    I’m a bit confused, Mobily does not operate in Dubai. The only operator here Etisalat sells Blackberry here, and the only other operator is Du who has only operated for a few months, and they’re both government owned. EMS I thought was just the Blackberry solutions/integrations provider, not the carrier.

  • http://www.emiratesmac.com Magnus

    I’m a bit confused, Mobily does not operate in Dubai. The only operator here Etisalat sells Blackberry here, and the only other operator is Du who has only operated for a few months, and they’re both government owned. EMS I thought was just the Blackberry solutions/integrations provider, not the carrier.