Dubai: The battery drainage experienced by a number of etisalat's BlackBerry users who installed a "performance enhancing" patch appears to have been caused by interceptor software that was included in the patch, it has emerged.

A number of BlackBerry users complained about overheating and rapid battery drainage in their devices after they installed a patch issued by the operator last week.

Etisalat has since stopped the patch, but would not comment on the installation of the interceptor software.

IT experts have said that the battery drainage problem has been caused by interceptor software included in the patch.

Nigel Gourlay, a programmer in Doha, analysed the code and said the interceptor software was causing battery drainage by continuously opening a data connection to contact etisalat servers.

He said the interceptor software was deactivated by default. The slowness and battery drainage, he said, were caused by the device waiting for a command from the operator to activate the interceptor.

If or when the software is activated, every subsequent message that is opened is sent to and stored on etisalat servers.

IT experts have said that it is not uncommon for telecom operators to install it on devices they sell.

It is unclear if du also places such software. The operator did not respond to Gulf News' questions by the time of going to print.