Recently, Vodaphone India launched a BBM-only data plan that allows customers to join in on the fun of BBM while not having to pay for large buckets of data. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of BlackBerry users that would sign up for a BBM-only data plan if they had access to it, so maybe RIM should pay for it out of the money they get from carriers for each BlackBerry sold.
RIM gets something like $2-$3 per BlackBerry subscriber. If the company took just $0.25 of that, RIM could probably strike a deal with the carriers to subsidize the data costs of BBM (which are incredibly minimal). This would have an awesome effect for both consumers and developers.
RIM has been touting BBM as the main competitive advantage for BlackBerry for some time and with the customer retention aspects of BBM, RIM would benefit significantly from being able to tell all BlackBerry users “BBM is now free for everyone, regardless of carrier plan”.