Pakistan to Ban Blackberry Enterprise Services in the Country

Blackbery_Pakistan_BanPakistan Telecommunication Authority, on direction of concerned bodies, has asked cellular operators to stop offering Blackberry Enterprise Services to its enterprise customers. PTA said that directions came from LEAs and is based on security reasons.

A letter from authority sent to cellular operators, a copy of which is available with ProPakistani, says that BES customers should be given 90 days of notice before closing the services altogether.

Directive asked mobile phone companies to ensure that there is no BES connection active after November 30th, 2015.

A PTA spokesperson confirmed us the move and said that only BES will blocked while BIS services will remain operational as they are.

Blackberry phones, with just voice and SMS facility, will also keep working.

For those who don’t know, Blackberry services are primarily of following two types:

BIS

BIS or BlackBerry Internet Service gives your BlackBerry access to the Internet. BIS is like an ISP (usually your cellular provider) and every time your BlackBerry gets an email, or accesses a webpage it goes through BIS (your operator) to do so.

BES

BES or BlackBerry Enterprise Server gives your BlackBerry access to a corporate intranet. The intranet is the private, internal, network within a company that is called BES. It’s kind of like a mini-internet that is cut off from the rest of the world.

Many intranets allow you to communicate with the Internet as well, but with added layers of security.

Difference between BIS and BES

Both BES and BIS allow your BlackBerry to get email, as well as retrieve webpages and use third-party apps.

In the case of BIS, your network operates the server. Everything from BIS to your blackberry device is encrypted, but that’s about the extent of the security features.

For BES, your company operates the server and usually has it sitting somewhere within the corporate network. The IT department controls all aspect of the BES server, and it’s likely sitting in a nice and secure location within your data centre.