Wataniya launches Blackberry service in the Maldives, enabling secure private communications

Mobile operator Wataniya last night launched the Blackberry service in the Maldives, at a ‘black suit’ event held in the National Art Gallery.

Beyond just a range of smart-phones allowing for ‘push’ email connectivity, the Blackberry service is one of the world’s largest private networks with 67 million subscribers and 14.8 percent of the global smartphone market.

The device, produced by Canadian technology company Research in Motion (RIM), grew in popularity on the back of business and corporate users, attracted by its security features, reliability and strong encryption.

The event last night opened with a dance by a man in a glow-in-the-dark jumpsuit, and a band playing the Beatles tune ‘All you need is love’.

Vice President of the Maldives Dr Mohamed Waheed remarked that RIM’s decision to enter the market in the Maldives “is a vote of confidence in the business environment of our country, and for that we are grateful.”

Dr Waheed also noted that the introduction of consumer and business-grade secure communications in the Maldives was “an indication of how our country has matured”, and “an indication that our country is comfortable with the freedoms that we have; particularly the freedoms of expression and democracy.”

“This is an important step towards the improvement of commerce and business in the Maldives,” Dr Waheed said, adding that the country’s “dynamic, highly literate and IT savvy youth” would ensure “a bright future” for Blackberry in the Maldives.

Chief Operating Officer of Wataniya Stephen Smith said the company was proud to enter in partnership with RIM, “to provide the highly anticipated service to customers in the Maldives for the first time. Blackberry provides a meaningful and secure connection to enterprise email and other important systems, and we’re glad to be able to provide this capability to our customers.”

Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Bruce Levy, meanwhile observed that without their Blackberries, the Canadian government “would shut down overnight.”

“The first thing I saw when I landed in the Maldives was a fleet of twin otter seaplanes, many of which are piloted by Canadians. The delegation tonight is staying at Four Seasons, an eminient Canadian hotel chain, and the President is off to the Toronto International Film festival this weekend,” Levy said.

“It is a great time to be Canadian in the Maldives.”


7 thoughts on “Wataniya launches Blackberry service in the Maldives, enabling secure private communications”

  1. Finally, a visible step for wataniya ahead of dhiraagu! a long time coming but you got there some day some how.

    well done people at wataniya. lets hope people with iPhones will have a need to buy blackberries.

  2. I dont think blackberry is a good thing to be introduced here. the blackberry has a technology which can be used among people who carry blackberry phones only and hence can be used to communicate as a means of social networking between people carrying blackberrys. This technology is difficult to be traced by security officials. Its not as easily traceable like other social networking means like facebook and twitter. Last month during london riots, the rioters used blackberry to gather up their fellow rioters and looters and the london police couldn't trace them all as they used blackberries as a means of communication. It is difficult to trace down as the phone bypasses the network it is on. (Reference: BBC)

  3. Ziyan is absolutely right. Introduction of the Blackberry carries serious risks to national security. I hope the government takes note of other incidents such as the riots in London that were co-ordinated through the Blackberry service.

    Act now, before it gets too late. Once this gets established it will be very difficult to get RIM to open up their system for security purposes.

  4. O Ziyan and Ahmed, be not prophets of doom! It is farfetched to imagine riots of the London scale happening in Maldives. We are a nation of small islands with measly populations. How many Maldivians will afford the Blackberry to a scale that they can mobilize themselves into a large crowd? Give your guestimate please. Unlike the cheap, counterfeit China-made I-phones that are aplenty here, with every facet of the population, the Blackberry is mostly going to be a preserve of a few corporates. Well, a few hundreds of rich kids and crooked fellows may get their units, but not in numbers that will pose any security concerns. If there were to be any security concerns, which I think is almost impossible, RIM and Wataniya will no doubt cooperate the authorities just as RIM and providers in the UK have. Sometimes we overrate our small nation. We can count the major security concern we have ever faced. We are just a tiny nation divided into tiny islands with tiny populations. Let Blackberry, and while at it, get a unit! Come on me, ease up. Don’t be too quick to oppose stuff.

  5. @ziyan @Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb you do good and harm with many of the technologies and scientific discoveries but that dosn't mean you have stop providing the service for people you use it to improve the quality of life. most of the time you ll only know the harm done by few people than the what it has done good to people.


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