Reuters is reporting that the United Arab Emirates and BlackBarry manufacturer Research In Motion have resolved differences that could have potentially left 500,000 BlackBerry subscribers without data services after October 11. “The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE’s telecommunications regulatory framework,” reported WAM, a state run news agency. “All Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on October 11, 2010,” the news outlet continued. The UAE had threatened to shutter BlackBerry data services due to their inability to access RIM servers through legal means if necessary; BlackBerry data was handled by servers outside of the UAE which created a security and sovereignty nightmare for the Arab state. The WAM report also gave kudos to Research In Motion, citing “positive engagement” and professional “collaboration” from the Canadian company. More →
Dispelling rumors, old wives tales, and the ever reputable “word on the street” that cell phone usage can cause serious interference with aircraft instruments, British Airways has pledged to become the second carrier (Emirates Air became the first such carrier last year) in the world to allow limited cell usage on some of its flights. At launch the service will be limited to its flights between London and JFK, and usage will be capped at texting and data, but the company is leaving open the possibility of expanding the offering to include voice calls at a later date. There has been much debate about the possible disruption caused by in-flight cell usage, and many busy fliers see the airplane as one of the last bastions of freedom, where being disconnected from the matrix for a short period of time can provide a much needed break. On the other hand, pulling down email and accessing the mobile web at 36,000 sounds mighty tasty to us, so when the chips fall you can guess what side of the argument we’ll be on. There’s no word on how much this service will cost, but if Emirates $2.80/minute voice charges are any indication, it won’t be for the faint of heart.