Tag: prepaid

RIM executive talks about the BlackBerry Curve 8520 in India

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Earlier this month, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 launched in India on a prepaid model. According to RIM executive Frenny Bawa, the 8520 “was designed with India in mind. It’s the lowest price BlackBerry we have ever launched and [with social networking trends in mind], it is loaded with dedicated multimedia keys and a trackpad.”

As RIM continues to grow in developing markets with great potential such as Latin America, countries such as India are key to a global strategy. According to Bawa, “India adds an average of 10 million new mobile phone subscribers a month. This is significant and, of course, RIM wants to participate in this growth.”

BlackBerry devices are selling well in India and the market could prove as a testing bed for successful sales strategies in a developing market. In the past year, RIM has increased its partners in India to 8, and tripled staff.

“One of the most significant changes is that we have tweaked our strategy to better suit the way the Indian consumer buys a smartphone,” said Bawa. RIM has partnered with Reddington India, a national distributor, to put BlackBerry devices into retail outlets across nine Indian cities instead of making them available only via carriers.

“Since then, the availability of BlackBerrys in India has mushroomed significantly,” said Bawa. “It was very obvious that we didn’t have the right distribution strategy. When we entered the Indian market [about five years ago], we were exporting the North American business model, which focused more on corporate users. Today, however, 45 per cent of our global users are consumers.”

It should be interesting to see what sort of strategies are needed to sell devices in Latin America and Africa. While prepaid is a major driving force behind sales, the price point is key as well. Perhaps we’ll see a resurgence of older models in the developing world.

[Via]

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Indosat launches prepaid BlackBerry Internet Service

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Indonesian carrier Indosat recently launched some nice prepaid options for week- and month-long BlackBerry service. It’s all-you-can-thumb internet browsing, e-mail, instant messaging and whatever else you want to do with your data, just remember that it doesn’t count SMS, voice or tethering. The 7-day deal will cost 50,000 rupiahs (or $3.50), and the 30-day prepaid service goes for 175,000 rupiahs (or $20). For travelers with an unlocked BlackBerry, this is a pretty sweet deal, and even local users who only need occasional data use, the plan could come in handy. Head on over here for more info on Indosat’s BlackBerry On Demand service, or text “BIS1 BB” and your BlackBerry model number to 889 to get started.

(Slashphone via Engadget)

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RIM and Telkomsel announce prepaid BlackBerry solution in Indonesia

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Coming straight out of Jakarta this morning, RIM and Telkomsel, Indonesia’s largest carrier announced a new prepaid BIS option for the world’s largest archipelagic state. The solution allows customers to activate BlackBerry Internet Service easily via SMS, with service automatically disabled if there is insufficient credit in the account.

The prepaid BlackBerry Internet Service from Telkomsel is available via an unlimited package with a tariff of Rp/ 180,000 per month. For more information, go to: www.telkomsel.com

(via RIM)

Read the full press release after the jump

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High turnover in emerging wireless markets

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While we might be looking to emerging markets in China, India and Africa as the reason why so many people are packing mobiles these days, the market may not be as much of a wireless promised land as they had been made out to be. Strategy Analytics has reported today that the global subscriber churn rate has risen for the ninth quarter in a row to 2.5% in Q1 2007. North America and Europe are pretty stable on this front, but Reliance disconnected 6 million customers last quarter, and Malaysian carriers had to disconnect about 20% of their subscribers in an effort to register all accounts. The big reason for such drastic measures is the prepaid nature of mobile business in these markets.

David Kerr, Vice President, Global Wireless Practice, adds, “The increase in churn highlights the challenge of managing subscriber growth in many prepaid-centric emerging markets. In these markets, where new connections involve simply placing a new SIM card into one’s existing handset, competitive activity is having an increasingly detrimental impact on subscriber behavior and churn levels.”

As much as we might moan about being locked into plans for years on end, it certainly makes for a more stable industry.

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