BlackBerry BB10: India to be a priority market; customers‘ security to be prime focus

India will be among the first countries to get BB10 next year but RIM won’t compromise on customers‘ security says CEO Thorsten Heins

Research In Motion’s (RIM’s) new CEO Thorstein Heins maintains that while the Canadian cell phone company will co-operate with Indian authorities on „lawful interception“ the company can not grant access to the entire traffic on its network, especially related to enterprise customers.After a prolonged stand-off, RIM had provided access solutions to telecom operators for consumer traffic but access to corporate information remains an issue. The company has remained firm on its stand that it has not provided any access solution for its enterprise customers to the Indian authorities, a point that was contested by the Indian telecom officials as reported in an earlier ET story.

„Security of our customers matters to us. We continue to work with Indian authorities to help them achieve what they need to achieve but we don’t break the promise we make to our customers, which is a totally secure and private enterprise communication,“ said Heins, in an exclusive interview with ET.

The RIM head explained that access to corporate mails and information, a service used by 90% of Fortune 500 companies, is not possible without the consent of the corporates concerned, since it is not RIM that owns the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), but the companies. And since the BES sits behind the company’s firewall, the electronic access ‚keys‘ that change multiple times every second don’t fall within RIM’s domain.

But dealing with Indian authorities is the least of BlackBerry CEO’s worries, as RIM battles rapidly deterioration of sales in North America, stiff competition from Apple, Samsung and others, and a delay of its next generation platform BlackBerry 10 (BB10).

Heins was in India, one of RIM’s fastest growing markets, as part of a global tour of key markets to showcase the BB10-powered devices to carriers and key customers. The Indian subsidiary, one of the bright spots for RIM globally, sold 11 million devices in 2011, clocking 87% year-on-year revenue growth.