RIM has caught heat from national telecom companies before, with India demanding that BlackBerry servers be moved locally, but now, as Venezuelan Telecom Timeout reader e-mailed, Venezuela and China are trying to build their own BlackBerry competitor that doesn’t go through RIM’s Canada-based NOC.
We haven’t found any English-based news sources on the move yet, but Google Translate provides a passable rendition which I’ve tried to clean up:
The new device will be manufactured by Vetalcain, a joint venture of Venezeala and China’s ZTE State …
“There are two models being completed to access Movilnet: a mid-range model a [higher-end] model similar to a BlackBerry, but with the NOC in Venezuela,” Venezuelan Minister Jesse Chacon told reporters. The launch date has not yet been finalized, he said.
BlackBerry’s always seen the strongest adoption in the North American market, but if it’s unable to address concerns about privacy (and presumably communications control) from service providers in countries like Venezuela and China, RIM could face a new competitor that’s more friendly to state-run telecommunication operators. With the overwhelming “data leakage” seen in Iran, such a device might already have whole new markets opening.