An agreement by RIM with Saudi Arabia could set a precedent for similar deals with other countries, including India, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Indonesia, which are demanding that RIM locate servers in their country, and provide access to data to their security forces, analysts said.
Saudi Arabia's telecom regulator, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), and local phone operators have reached a preliminary agreement with RIM over the handling of BlackBerry data that will involve setting up a server in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the talks.
A CITC official however declined to comment on whether the talks were over, or had arrived at a resolution. RIM also did not respond to e-mail requests for comments.
Saudi Arabia had said that it would suspend BlackBerry services from Friday, but the service was largely uninterrupted, except for a four-hour break by one operator, according to reports. The UAE has also announced a suspension of BlackBerry services from October 11, as it objects to BlackBerry data from the country being sent offshore, where it is managed by a foreign, commercial organization.
RIM is also negotiating with Indian officials who are demanding access to data on the BlackBerry network for its security agencies.