Battered RIM may be tossed out of huge Indonesian market

Company's decision to build data hub in Singapore instead of Jakarta may cost it second-largest market.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Apparently RIM has been naughty, not nice. And the lumps of coal just keep coming this season for the beleagured Canadian smartphone giant.

News reports out of Jakarta Saturday say that the Indonesian government if fighting back after losing its battle to convince Research in Motion to open a data centre there -- to monitor and protect data sent by the millions of users in the country.

RIM opted for a hub in Singapore instead, and it appears that Indonesia might retaliate by cancelling RIM's Internet and BBM service in the country.

It's a final slap in a year that has seen the phone company lose a trademark battle, take a hit of more than half a billion dollars on its new tablet and a massive email outage, and have to fire two executives who got so drunk and rowdy on an airplane that the flight had to be diverted.

The Canadian Press has the story:

TORONTO -- The Indonesian government is threatening to shut down its BlackBerry data services in the country  -- a new setback for the beleaguered Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion.

According to a report in the Jakarta Post Saturday, the move came after the Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM reneged on its promise to set up a regional data centre in the country.

It said the government had been urging the company since January to establish such a centre to monitor and protect data sent by millions of Indonesian users.

RIM told the government earlier this week that it would build a router in Indonesia, instead of a data hub, which would be set up in neighbouring Singapore, the report said.

An official of the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulation Body told the Post that RIM's decision would likely lead to the termination of BlackBerry Internet Service and BlackBerry Message service in the country.

"Because RIM has not been co-operative, it is possible that we will soon end BIS and BBM services. A BlackBerry, therefore, would just be like other cellular phones,'' BRTI member Heru Sutadi told the newspaper Friday.

Indonesia is the largest market for RIM outside North America. With an estimated six million users, the BlackBerry is more popular in the country than smartphones from other makers.

The Indonesian warning came just days after police named RIM's outgoing country manager, Andrew Cobham, as a suspect in the chaotic launch of the BlackBerry Bold 9790 last month when dozens of consumers were injured.

It was the latest in a string of bad news to hit the company.

RIM was forced to change the name of its new BBX smartphone operating system this week after the company lost a trademark ruling in the United States.

Last week RIM announced it will take a hit of more than half a billion dollars from discounting its PlayBook tablet and its recent massive email outage.

RIM also fired two executives at its Canadian operations after their drunken rowdiness forced the diversion of an Air Canada flight.

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