Saudi Arabia is ordering its mobile operators to halt BlackBerry services throughout the kingdom this week, heightening tensions between device maker Research in Motion Ltd. and governments demanding greater access to data sent on the phones.

The Saudi state news agency SPA said in a report late Tuesday that the country’s telecom regulator has informed mobile service providers in the country that they must halt BlackBerry services starting Friday.

he regulator, known as the Communications and Information Technology Commission, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment to provide details of the ban or say how it would be enforced.

It said the suspension of service was being implemented because BlackBerry service “in its present state does not meet regulatory requirements,” according to the SPA report.


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