MTN to cap BlackBerry BIS
The operator will implement a 200MB/month "fair-usage" cap on BlackBerry users from March.
MTN will implement a 200MB/month “fair-usage” cap on the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) from next month in a move designed to reduce load on its network. MTN and other operators have complained in the past about a small percentage of BlackBerry customers who download well above the average, undermining the quality of the service for other users.
The company says that from 1 March, its R59/month BlackBerry BIS plan will be renamed as BlackBerry Absolute.
“As part of the new BlackBerry Absolute plan, for R59, MTN customers will continue to enjoy all the benefits and features that come with owning a BlackBerry handset, including services such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) where users can text, share photos, video clips and voice notes, as well as access BlackBerry e-mail, instant messaging, Internet browser and BlackBerry App World.”
BIS has traditionally been one of BlackBerry’s key selling points, offering consumers unlimited on-device Web browsing, e-mail and BBM for a fixed monthly fee. This has proved popular in the youth segment in South Africa.
“The BlackBerry Absolute plan is aimed at optimising the network to make it efficient so as to provide a world-class experience for our customers,” says Devan Chetty, GM: core and Internet protocol planning at MTN South Africa, in a prepared statement.
“It is important to note that the BlackBerry Absolute plan will not limit our customers’ experience and connectivity on their BlackBerry handsets. Our analysis of usage behaviour shows that the majority of our BlackBerry customers fall within the 200MB usage pattern on a monthly basis. This means that those customers who use up to 200MB per month will continue to enjoy BlackBerry features and services.”
MTN says it will also offer an extra 200MB “free” to customers using more than 200MB for the first three months of the launch of Blackberry Absolute.
Once customers have depleted the 200MB allocation, they will stay connected to BIS by either using their Internet bundle or getting charged directly from their airtime balance. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media