Indonesia threatens to shut down BlackBerry data services

In a new setback for the beleaguered Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion, the Indonesian government is threatening to shut down its BlackBerry data services in the country, a newspaper reported Saturday.

In a new setback for the beleaguered Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion, the Indonesian government is threatening to shut down its BlackBerry data services in the country, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The move came after the Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM (TSX:RIM) reneged on its promise to set up a regional data centre in the country, the Jakarta Post said.

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.

However, 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 Messenger 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.

RIM released a statement on Saturday saying it sent Indonesian officials a letter last September stating the blackberry maker has “fully addressed all of the requests” that the Indonesian government made earlier this year.

“RIM continues to discuss a new, potential investment in Indonesia that would support the growth and expansion of the country’s software development industry,” the statement added.

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.