Cheaper MTN BlackBerry service planned

Summary: MTN is working on a new range of BlackBerry solutions which may include cheaper BlackBerry data

MTN is currently investigating new BlackBerry products which may well include a cheaper flat rated data offering.

MTN SA CEO Karel Pienaar told MyBroadband that they are closely following usage trends on their BlackBerry network, and that they are currently developing products which will be aimed at specific segments of the market.

Pienaar explained that they want to take smartphones to more South Africans, and a cheaper BlackBerry data option can bring mobile Internet access to a larger portion of the population.

The MTN SA CEO said that their investigation showed that there is an opportunity to decrease the cost of a flat rated BlackBerry data solution aimed at certain groups.

Karel Pienaar
Karel Pienaar

High-end BlackBerry users

MTN is also experiencing very high data usage from some of their BlackBerry subscribers (similar to what Vodacom reported a few weeks ago) which may influence the experience of other BlackBerry users. MTN is also investigating potential packages which will suit these consumers.

Pienaar made it clear that he does not see these high end users as ‘abusers’, but rather as subscribers with specific bandwidth needs for services like large file downloads and multimedia streaming.

Pienaar said that they can never allow one customer to negatively influence the experience of another subscriber, adding that they are working closely with BlackBerry parent company Research in Motion (RIM) to ensure that all their customers experience great service levels.

MTN SA CTO Kanagaratnam Lambotharan explained that they are looking at both localized solutions (on the MTN network) and solutions in partnership with RIM to ensure that one group of users does not adversely affect the BlackBerry experience for the rest of their subscriber base.

Pienaar’s feedback gives an indication that MTN may well launch new higher-end BlackBerry packages to suit consumers who would like bandwidth intensive services such as video streaming.

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Cheaper MTN BlackBerry service planned