As per media reports
) is on the verge of signing an agreement with the telecom
carriers in United Arab Emirates (UAE), that will allow the
handset manufacturer to offer VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
services for the first time in the gulf country. If successful
the deal could come as welcome news for BlackBerry in the UAE,
which is one of the six countries where the company recently
launched it's BB10 OS (operating System) based device.
Blackberry has faced resistance in the Middle Eastern
countries to launch its VoIP services because the telecom
carriers receive high roaming tariffs from the voice calls made
by the countries' emigrant populations. The Dubai-based carrier
DU and BlackBerry are currently testing VoIP and Internet-based
video services and expect to launch it in the near future.
Voice calls are generally charged based on the length of the
call and the country receiving the call. However, VoIP calls are
offered almost for free once customers have purchased a data plan
from a telecom carrier. VoIP is a serious threat to traditional
voice calls and according to research firm Ovum the
Internet-based service will hurt the telecom industry with $479
billion in lost revenues by 2020.
BlackBerry, which is popular for its BBM (blackberry
Messenger) service has almost 60 million active members and
provides free and secure instant messaging service. The company
has added a video function to its BB10 OS-based device in
addition to the already present voice functions.
If the Canadian handset manufacturer receives the nod to
launch the services in the oil rich country, then it will gain an
edge over its rival Samsung Electronics,
). Nokia, which offers
) VoIP service Skype Apple's very own Face Time are blocked in
the UAE by the service providers.
Allowing the VoIP service could put the UAE carriers into a
disadvantageous position that are already loosing money as
customers are looking for other options to overcome high cost
voice calls. Therefore, if BBM voice and video services are
allowed then the carriers need to come up with an alternative
measures to compensate their loss of revenue from international
Historically, UAE has been a popular market for the Waterloo,
Canada-based company and retailers in UAE have seen robust demand
for its latest BB10-based Z10 smartphones. We believe if
BlackBerry indeed receives success in proving VoIP services then
it will boost the sales of its latest device, while paving the
way for future success in the country.
Currently, BlackBerry carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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