RIM says rivals will face same pressure from India

Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:19pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion, looking to fend off rivals and assure wary Indian customers of its encrypted communications services, said its major competitors would face the same pressures over government security concerns.

The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, which has been grappling with the Indian government for years, said it appreciated New Delhi's security concerns and was willing to discuss industry-wide policy changes.

But it also warned that draconian measures would limit India's economic development, including its massive business outsourcing industry.

"RIM fully appreciates and supports the priority India rightly places on national security," the Canadian company said in a statement on Tuesday addressed to enterprise customers -- businesses, professionals and government agencies -- in the world's fastest growing mobile phone market.

The Indian government is fearful that encrypted BlackBerry services could be used to foster unrest or allow militants to organize or carry out attacks.

But RIM noted that, in numerous meetings, the Indian government has also shown it recognizes encryption is fundamental to attracting and maintaining international business.

Some of RIM's competitors have sought to take advantage of the attention RIM was attracting in India, but they would not escape similar government scrutiny, the company said.

It said a partial list of companies that use encryption in India includes Apple, Cisco, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Nokia and privately held Good Technology.   Continued...

<p>A man tries to hold on to his umbrella as he walks past a Blackberry advertisement billboard in Mumbai August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui</p>