India has 1,14,000 BlackBerry users: Minister

Written by Reuters | New Delhi, May 5: | Updated: May 5 2008, 21:24pm hrs
India has about 114,000 mobile subscribers using Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry services, much lower than expected, the junior minister for telecommunications said on Monday.

Media reports have said there were around 400,000 BlackBerry users in India, while an analyst had estimated the number to be more than half a million.

"As per the information received from service providers, there are around 114,000 subscribers as on date who are being provided BlackBerry services by various telecom companies," Jyotiraditya Scindia told the lower house of parliament in a written reply to a question.

Four firms, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone-controlled Vodafone Essar and BPL Mobile provide BlackBerry services in India.

RIM does not give country specific user numbers. A spokesman for India said the company had 14 million subscribers globally as of the quarter ended March 1.

India had asked telecom firms not to provide certain BlackBerry services until monitoring systems are in place. It had also written to RIM asking it to install servers in India.

The move came after security agencies raised concerns the service posed a risk as emails sent using it could not be traced or intercepted.