There seems to be some confusion about whats happening with the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) at the moment so it's time to set the record straight. The BlackBerry Internet Service (BlackBerry Messenger/BBM, email, social networks and instant messaging, browsing, BlackBerry World etc) will remain alongside BlackBerry 10. Also, that the packages for BlackBerry Internet Service (available from carrier partners), will remain, especially in emerging markets). MTN in South Africa has publically stated below that they will not discontinue support for BlackBerry Internet Service. The coverage reads as if BlackBerry Internet Service is being discontinued entirely. This has been reported by more than one news site over the last day.
In South Africa, some customers think BlackBerry Internet Service IS BlackBerry and without it, they will not have the experience they are used to. Some customers are asking if they get BBM on BlackBerry 10, so there is some education to be done. What they don't realize is the difference between the two platforms; and that they can still enjoy what they have today but now there is even more to enjoy.
Mobile carrier MTN have said:
"MTN has an array of Blackberry plans designed to suit the demands and affordability of its customers. MTN will make the necessary announcements to the public should there be any changes to its Blackberry BIS services, but we do not intend to discontinue the service,"
Unlimited BBM for BlackBerry 10 is only available on special offer (first 3 months from Voda I believe) in South Africa - Plus the unlimited for BB7 and below currently remain. As you may know, South Africa is one of the few markets where carriers have offered uncapped offers for BlackBerry OS smartphones. Chances are they will gradually introduce fair usage and data caps; to bring South Africa in line with the rest of the world. As our world moves towards more widespread smartphone adoption and increased data consumption, this is the way things are going, spectrum is not infinite.
Customers can still enjoy the BlackBerry experience they love on the current BlackBerry OS smartphones if that is what they choose, and this will continue to suit many of the still developing markets moving from feature phone to smartphone. When you look at the usage on older BlackBerry OS smartphone models, compared to others, it uses significantly less data. However, if people want the re-designed, re-engineered, re-invented BlackBerry 10 experience, then a change in talk plan will be required.
Keep in mind that this is coming from MTN, but of course we'll look into this more and set the record straight once and for all regarding BIS, BBM and data plans on BlackBerry 10.