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Blackberry facing possible sanctions in Indonesia

Blackberry may be facing sanctions in Indonesia in the wake of a service outage.


Blackberry is facing possible sanctions in Indonesia after a service outage in the country left many without access to the company’s messaging services.

A spokesperson for Indonesia’s Communication and Information Technology Ministry told Bloomberg that this is the fourth major outage since April 2012, and sanctions are pending a report from Blackberry on the issue. The Ministry also plans to consult the country’s telecommunication regulatory board to see if the outage violated local rules.

“We don’t want to be seen as allowing this to keep happening again,” spokesperson Gatot Dewa Broto told Bloomberg. “We are preparing sanctions.”

If Indonesia does impose sanctions on Blackberry, it would not be first time the company is hit by sanctions in the country. In 2009, the communications ministry halted the approval of licenses for sales of new models of phones unless Blackberry opened a local branch office with after-sales service.

Indonesia is proving to be an important and successful market for Blackberry. The company has 6.3 million subscribers in the country, up from 6 million in 2012 and 5 million in 2011. It’s also an example of one of Blackberry’s last stable markets: the developing world. Low-end Blackberries have historically done quite well in the developing world market — which Indonesia anchors in Asia — taking as much as 60 percent market share as late as 2012.

The emergence of low cost Android devices has changed that figure slightly, skewing it in Android’s favor, but Blackberry still has a commanding hold in the developing world market. More incidents like this, however, and consumers might start looking at low cost Android devices as a viable alternative.

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