Flat rated BlackBerry Internet service not lowering ARPU

In South Africa, BlackBerry users enjoy flat rated Internet access and messaging for a mere R59 per month. This does not mean that the cellular operators are losing money.

Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys recently revealed that while cellular subscribers SMS less after they switch to a BlackBerry, they spend more on phone calls and other online activities.

It is understood that the decrease in SMS activity is closely related to the use of the free BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service.

Uys said that they saw a decline of around 20% in SMS activity after users switch to a BlackBerry solution, but that the increased voice calls from these subscribers mean that there was still an overall increase of between 12% and 15% in the average revenue per user (ARPU).

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Flat rated BlackBerry Internet service not lowering ARPU