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S Arabia overturns BlackBerry ban

world Updated: Aug 12, 2010 09:58 IST

Saudi Arabia's telecommunications watchdog has announced that it would allow BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service to continue operation citing "positive developments" with the device's Canadian manufacturer.

The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) confirmed in a statement that it had changed its mind over the controversial service, which was supposed to stop working on Monday.

CITC had ordered mobile operators to block key BlackBerry services or face a reported USD 1.3 million (4.9 million Saudi riyals) fine on Friday, following similar moves by other neighbouring nations.

After days of negotiations and testing of possible solutions, CITC said it decided to allow the continuation of the messenger service.

The regulator, however, requested that the three operators work with their respective service providers to fulfill its regulatory requirements for the device, which is made by Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM).

Last week, the regulator said it decided to take action as it claimed existing BlackBerry services provided by the three operators did not match regulatory criteria and licensing conditions.