MTN launches cheaper BlackBerry plans

2012-07-06 07:29

Cape Town - Mobile operator MTN has introduced three BlackBerry plans as it looks to capture a higher percentage of the smartphone market in SA.

Customers can choose a plan starting at R14.95 per month that gives access to e-mail and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), but excludes unlimited internet access.

At a higher price point is a Social Plan for R19.95, allowing access to BlackBerry App World and social networks. Users are also allowed to browse the web and check e-mail.

For customers who want BBM, e-mail and internet access, the cost rises to R29.95 per month, which is significantly cheaper than the existing BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) for R59 per month. The plan excludes multiple e-mail accounts and has a data cap of 25MB.

"The new BlackBerry service plans are all available immediately on the MTN network," said Serame Taukobong, chief marketing officer at MTN SA.

Data caps

The two cheaper plans have a data caps of 10MB and customers will be charged R1 per MB for additional data on their plans.

MTN appears to have spotted that cost is a significant barrier to accessing the BIS.

"We observed that there are BlackBerry customers that do not have the BlackBerry Internet Service activated for a variety of reasons and this pointed us towards the need to introduce more options to address the range of unique customer requirements," said Taukobong.

BlackBerry smartphones make up around 65% of smartphones in SA and remain popular because of the unlimited BIS and chat applications like BBM, despite Research In Motion's troubles in the developed markets of the Americas and Europe.

The company has been on a charge to release its latest devices in developing markets like India and SA to fend off growing competition from Android-based smartphones.

On Tuesday, RIM launched the BlackBerry Curve 9320 that features the BlackBerry 7.1 operating system and the company claims a longer battery life. Where available, the device also supports mobile hotspot, allowing the smartphone to link other mobile devices to the internet.

New MTN plans:

BlackBerry Messaging Plan, R14.95, 10MB data cap
BlackBerry Social Plan, R19.95, 10MB data cap
BlackBerry Social and Email Plan, R29.95, 25MB data cap

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  • tumelo.radebe - 2012-07-06 07:56

    Ooow well well for us who dont use blackberry their r kill us with call rates..Last month I bought smartphone social networking data bundles n I use Nokia c3-00 n guess what they didn't work n they said my phone its not smartphone wen I asked them y ain't they working on my smartphone Nokia C3-00

      terry.burne - 2012-07-06 08:27

      Tumelo - judging by the garbled message that you posted - a smart phone is beyond you pal!

      catgirl1971 - 2012-07-06 09:43

      DUH! BIS is only for BlackBerry you fool.

  • cj.venter - 2012-07-06 07:56

    nice and cheap, beware the shark in shallow waters. R1 per MB after reaching a 25mb cap? hell, i'd reach that in a day and spend no less than R150 on data for the rest of the most quiet internet month of my life! useless!

  • Spikes - 2012-07-06 08:06

    I like the BBM packet. It will work out way cheaper than SMS family. But if you extended family runs over 30. take a new wife and start a new group

  • Arthur Salvado - 2012-07-06 08:10

    Thank you Cell C for starting the ball running. Nobody move, more to come in this war. It's presonal if you know the personalities. Mr Joe Soap stands to gain, thank you Cell C.

  • michele.holmes.1238 - 2012-07-06 08:15

    25 Megs is not nearly enough for a month if you access facebook and a couple of web pages daily. Beware people - R1/meg is horrendously expensive. They charge around 19c per meg in a data bundle, so no reason to charge R1 per meg out of bundle, other than to try and tie you into a contract.

      michele.holmes.1238 - 2012-07-06 08:17

      On top of that, 25 megs is around a day's worth of emails!

  • jason.r.johnson.3990 - 2012-07-06 08:16

    I think it's brilliant. Seizing the moment after Vodacom started screwing their bb clients by secretely throttling them and blocking certain sites. Well Done MTN. Moving over to your network the moment my contract ends.

      Jaun - 2012-07-06 08:23

      Remember it takes about 3mb to be on facebook if you just scan the home page!! The R60 deal is better because you have unlimited internet. MTN is trying to ripoff poor people! 25mb!!!! R1 per mb!!!! Poor people only see the R30 price but not the R150 Bill!!!

  • catgirl1971 - 2012-07-06 08:28

    Thanks but no thanks MTN you sharks, I'll stay with Vodacom's R59 package. R1 per MB - you must be crazy!!!!

  • Derick.kleyn - 2012-07-06 08:29

    Lol 25mb cap,and here as a vodacom customer I was about to look at other networks for better bis bundles.25mb lnao.

  • charlesvirginia.rudden - 2012-07-06 08:31

    Getting rid of stock .RIM is not doing to well in the rest of the world at the moment

      badballie - 2012-07-06 15:23

      correction BB is not doing to well in the first world where the smartphone and its associated high costs rule. Third world countries like Africa (yes I know) India, Pakistan, vietnam etc, still have a majority BB usage statistic

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-07-06 08:32

    hahahaha nice way to fool the ignorant masses. Corporations out to make a profit through false advertising. R10 gets you 10mb of MTN data on a direct purchase. Paying R29,90 for a 25mb data cap means you are OVERPAYING! tell all your friends to ignore this BS and buy airtime instead. Also, a cap simply means that many users will use less than that in practice, a nice extra profit for MTN. I love how they can inflate their own rate and market it as a customer discount. PS-2gig mtn data bundle currwntly sells for the same prize as 500mb. Not sure if it's a peomotion or computer glitch. Take advantage like I did :)

  • RoryKlein - 2012-07-06 08:37

    Blackberry is not a smart phone IMO! You better off with a iPhone or Samsung. All you needs is WHATSAPP and you have instant chat with your friends and you don’t have to send your pin to add anyone. Blackberry is just using South Africa to try and make money, the phone is no longer used in USA or Europe

      cedjonkers - 2012-07-06 10:05

      Which phone do you have? If not BlackBerry, Do you have a data plan on your phone? How much does that cost you a month? Before you go around saying things that are not completely true, (that USA & Europe are no longer using Blackberries), have you asked yourself why? Internet access is widely available in those countries at very low costs, while the same cant be said about SA. The main reason why many people in developing countries are using BlackBerries is because of the cheap unlimited internet access. If we had free wifi hotspots wherever we turn, then surely we would get data-hungry phones like iPhones and Galaxies.

      badballie - 2012-07-06 15:32

      Actually Rory BB usage in the USA and Europe is still relatively high in the lower and middle class, the only real change has been that business usage of the phone is dropping in favor of the new generation smart phone which out perform them in almost every sphere except cost. Here again the associated costs in respect of those countries is a lot cheaper than locally, the old example that in South Africa the cost and time involved in downloading a single movie here (legally) would get you 10 movies in a shorter time in the US, even after our upgrades is still largely true. Lets not forget that as little as 5 years ago it was cheaper to fly to London, go to an internet store and download a gig of data, before flying back, than it was to simply download the gig of data locally.

  • njglen - 2012-07-06 08:39

    25MB! you could end up using that in a day, this report doesn't clearly state what the usage period is, ie per day or month. Its still a rip off in my eyes!

  • adrian.tyler - 2012-07-06 08:49

    I barely survive on my 500MB per month, and I use wifi at work and home. What the ef do you do with 10MBs. Lol. I hate Blackberry so much.

  • adrian.tyler - 2012-07-06 08:52

    They ripping us off so much with data in South Africa. You can get uncapped, unshaped 50Mbps data overseas for less than R300 a month (can't remember which country)

      longile.bongani - 2012-08-13 16:25

      most of them !

  • dangelo.fredericks - 2012-07-06 11:16

    K•k.....dan gan ek oor na die ou manier, deur briewe te skryf....!!!!

      badballie - 2012-07-06 15:33

      definitely cheaper, unfortunately there is no guarantee that you letter will ever get delivered in this country.

  • Freddie - 2012-07-06 11:38

    Hasn't MTM heard, RIM are dying and will probably be out of business in 12 months?

  • badballie - 2012-07-06 15:02

    The general dislike of Blackberry and their services is from an extremely small group of people who are able to afford the extra costs associated with smart phone usage, RIM although undeniably loosing first world support, and rightly so, is not running at a loss, but at a reduced income level, their problems have very little to do with the service which despite first world reports enjoys an extremely large following in third world countries, and everything to do with shareholder expectation and the belief that supply and demand are infinite. I personally use a windows phone which like the iPhone costs almost 5 times what the Blackberry costs for the same usage, I personally do not like the BB, but would have to pry my wife's from her cold dead hand. Although RIM may sell out I believe that the company has a very bright future if it takes a loss now in order to upgrade their phones to modern standards, again the old technology usage is not exclusively a RIM problem, with companies like NOKIA who were once market leaders also having fallen foul of the consumer by allowing themselves to stay with the old Symbian 60 platform way past its sell by date, the first N70 if you remember used the exact same platform that is used in the N8 and N9 which remain "flagships" of the Nokia brand.

  • eugene.henriques.9 - 2012-08-25 20:41

    I got the 29,95 plan but will stick to the 59,00 a month.Only got 16mb left till the 24th September.That means I will have to top up soon in order to surf,Whats app and email.Bbm will be open till the new due date.The catch is the 25mb.Once thats up then you are F...ed.Maybe BB are loosing out on the 59,00 plan because its unlimited and you can download and go nuts on downloading pics,vids etc.The amount that you download goes way over the 59,00 a month plan and that alot of data for free.Some times my data downloads for a month is over 200 mb.Work out the math.

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