BlackBerry’s recently updated BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for BlackBerry 10 devices comes with a new feature called BBM Channels. A user can create a Channel and post updates as well as photos on their Channels that other users can follow and comment on. This update to BBM was issued a couple of weeks back and at launch, users in the UAE had no issues following channels.
However, we started hearing from some users recently that they were no longer able to follow any channels and it seems like the Telecom Regulation Authority (TRA) has asked the local telcos Etisalat and du to prevent users from accessing BBM Channels. Any updates issued to Channels that users are already subscribed to are also not being pushed either making the service useless. The UAE also does not allow voice or video calls over BBM and this latest blow is unfortunate for BlackBerry that is trying to innovate with BBM.
UPDATE: We’ve contacted BlackBerry on this matter and they have issued the following statement:
“We understand that BBM Channels is not currently available to some BlackBerry customers in the UAE. We are working with our partners in the UAE to ensure their customers are able to enjoy the premier messaging experience of BBM and we will continue to work together to resolve any issues preventing people from using BBM Channels.”