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41pc of UAE residents back BlackBerry ban: poll

Dubai, August 11, 2010

Two out of five UAE residents (41 per cent) support the decision to ban BlackBerry services, while one quarter (25 per cent) are opposed, according to a survey.

The latest findings from the weekly Omnibus poll conducted by YouGov Siraj, a top research and consulting organisation, added that resistance is particularly strong among Western expats in the country, with 60 per cent expressing opposition to the move.

Roughly half of respondents (47 per cent) believe BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) and the TRA should negotiate a compromise to avoid any service outages, the survey said.

A little over a third (37 per cent) think RIM should act immediately to comply with the TRA’s requirements, it revealed.

Only one-in-seven respondents (15 per cent) think RIM should stand their ground and make no changes, a figure that doubles among Westerners (33 per cent), the poll showed.

“Overall, the survey uncovers a largely divided public opinion on the issue with the largest proportion of consumers hoping a compromise can be found which will avoid the planned service disruptions,” said Scott Booth, research manager for YouGov Siraj.

“The population seems to grasp that there is a legitimate desire on behalf of the TRA to eliminate security concerns posed by the service. At the same time, many consumers fear being left with an expensive paperweight if their service is cut off,” he added.

Two-thirds of residents (66 per cent) expect the cut off to happen on October 11 as declared, the survey revealed.

Arab expats (80 per cent) are twice as likely as Westerners (40 per cent) to believe the cut off will occur. Should the ban come to fruition, about two out of five current BlackBerry users (38 per cent) would switch to some other Smartphone with similar capabilities.

Meanwhile, a third of BlackBerry users (34 per cent) said they would continue using their BlackBerry without data services until the issue is resolved.

“Once again, YouGov Siraj has shown its ability to quickly measure public opinion through its weekly Omnibus service,” said Booth.

“This is a critical resource for corporations in today’s fast moving world as it allows them to gauge public opinion in challenging times such as this and plan their response accordingly,” he added.

A total of 750 UAE residents, including 184 current BlackBerry owners, responded to the survey between August 3 and 8.

Word of an impending cut off of BlackBerry data service spread very quickly, the survey found.

Little more than a week after the decision, rendered by the Telecommunications Regulation Authority (TRA), three-quarters of residents (75 per cent) were aware of the situation. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | Ban | BlackBerry | Survey | YouGov Siraj | UAE residents |

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