BlackBerry BBM Channels blocked on UAE mobile phones

Might be available on some handsets, says BlackBerry

BlackBerry says BBM Channels continues to open on some handsets in the UAE and has promised to work with the TRA and network operators to remove the ban.

“We understand that BBM Channels is not currently available to some BlackBerry customers in the UAE,” BlackBerry said in its statement clearly indicating that it could be working on some handsets.

Both Etisalat and du pulled the plug on BBM Channels and according to reports are blaming the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the UAE for their decision.

Meanwhile the web edition of BBM Channels continues to work normally on both Etisalat and du.

TRA, however, has still not issued any official statement – not until 10 am on Wednesday morning.

In fact users in the UAE started facing issues with the BBM Channels almost four to five days ago. Etisalat responded to some of the tweets saying BBM Channels will not work in the UAE.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry has said it is working with officials to put its services back online. “We are working with our partners in the UAE to ensure their customers are able to enjoy the premier messaging experience of BBM and we will continue to work together to resolve any issues preventing people from using BBM Channels,” the statement added.

The statement reads surprisingly similar to what BlackBerry said after BBM Voice, another premium BBM service was blocked by both Etisalat and Du. The service continues to remain blocked and there are no signs of them being lifted.

Meanwhile, one should also note that similar voice calling services in the UAE like Skype continues to work normally on web as well as mobile platforms.

BBM Channels have been gaining in popularity especially among BlackBerry users, many of who have even replaced it instead of twitter and Facebook.

BBM Channels currently is available on BlackBerry handsets and works in coordination with the BBM messenger. BlackBerry has promised that it will make the service available for iOS and Android users who have already downloaded the BBM app.

It enables any user over 13 years old to create their own Channel on any given subject or brand and allow other users to interact and share ideas and opinions.

BBM Channels have become a hit especially because users can be authenticated unlike other services like Twitter and Facebook where you can always find fake profiles.

One can even create and manage a BBM Channel using the BBM Channels Manager website, which continues to remain unblocked in the UAE.

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