Rumor: Balsillie Wanted to Offer BlackBerry Network to Carriers for Low Cost Instant Messaging and Social Media

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Rumor has it that before Balsillie left RIM, he tried to convince the board of a plan to offer the BlackBerry network’s services to carriers, so they could route data and offload costs associated with small bandwidth data from instant messaging and social media. This plan, without knowing the exact details of it, makes a lot of sense and it’s too bad the board vetoed it. Imagine all the smartphones the carriers could sell if they could offer it with a free data plan that only extends to IM and social media. We’ve heard of plans like this in India, and North America and Europe could really benefit.

balsillie and lazaridis

Apparently, Balsillie’s plan led to discord at the highest levels of RIM and it led to Balsillie resigning. We’re pretty sure this wasn’t the only reason, but it probably didn’t help.

It must be really frustrating to build a company from nothing, only to have a board of people tell you how to run it years later. However you may feel about Balsillie as a co-CEO, it’s still his baby and he obviously wants the best for it. These guys aren’t blind to what’s going on in the industry.

Here’s a post from back in January where we suggested something like this.

Read more at Reuters.