BlackBerry Internet Service - MTN gives the facts regarding unlimited plans and BBM

By James Richardson on 23 Feb 2013 10:41 am EST

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.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Internet Service - MTN gives the facts regarding unlimited plans and BBM


BIS will remain *alongside* BB10.
Buying another 9900 for when my current one dies.
BB10 might not be a good match for me.

Thanks for the article.

I've officially decided to either buy a 9900 or jump ship to android now. This was a major decision factor for me in my choice of buying a z10 because I'm used to unlimited everything.

I think what he was implying is that Android is a little better than BlackBerry (in his opinion) when looking at the overall picture, but not factoring in "unlimited everything." Add in the "unlimited everything" and that is why he is currently happy with his BlackBerry. Take it away, and in his opinion Android is the better choice.

I may be wrong with my assessment of his statement, but if this is why he would now switch, I can at least understand is reasoning. I disagree with it, but I understand it.

Sorry for being unclear, but you"re definitely right. And yeah it's just a matter of opinion. When BBRY took away some features that have grown on me and replaced them with alternatives or even removed them entirely, it kinda made me lose hope because I really wanted to move along with the new device(s). I still think BBRY needs yet another game changer. In a lot of people's eyes I'll be wrong but again, just my opinion.

That's rather simple . I have the luxury of worldwide umlimited internet . If I would change to the new phones I'd lose that , for me , major convinience . I use my phone just as often in kabul as in new york. Without that capability why choose a phone with inferior apps and other goodies ? When you can get the slick interface and apps of an iphone or the blazing speed of a nexus? I'll just hope they keep making bolds and will support bis on those. love the passport but without BIS it would be a stupid choice.

i dont get why everyone acts like everything is blackberry's fault, why would they get rid of this service?? i doesn't make sense to just say hey, we dont need BIS anymore, there is a reason for it. its called the SERVICE PROVIDERS, there tired of paying blackberry money to use BBRY network, when they spend millions of dollars on improving theirs in hopes people can use more data and go over their usage limits. also correct me if im wrong the advantages of BIS was, 1, push email 2, data compression 3, email accounts. not sure if im missing anything but, i seem to recall Thor saying that BB10 devices would no longer be using BIS but that the phones would still be capable of compressing data, and that it would take place in the phones itself, which was already part of how BIS was capable. Now as for the email. For the last two months before the Z10 release date in Canada, i had been using a Galaxy S3 and the LG optimus G, some people are going to say b.s who buys two or 3 high end phones in 2 months, i work for a canadian service provider and was using these as work "demo" devices. all i can say is Android doesn't even come close to touching BlackBerry for email, bis or not. ive been using a Z10 for 2 weeks, it blows the S3 and G out of the water, my work uses a random webmail site for internal email, on the android devices, i never ONCE received a notification for any email other than gmail. not even my outlook was pushed, i had to refresh everytime i thought it had been too long since i received an email. on the Z10 its instant, ive checked too, ive watch one come in, looked at the clock, then logged into the email to see that it arrived in my web email inbox as the same time my online inbox got it. but hey good luck to any one who switches because blackberry wasnt in a position to argue over extra fee's that the service providers said "no, were not going to pay that" ill take BB10 over BIS anyday of the week, as BB10 is better than any bbos combined. quite looking for something to complain about when the phone is a close to perfect as any other OS on the market today. while im on that topic, i find it so funny how people are commenting that the brand new os has some bugs, believe me from what ive encountered they are far and few between and i would say most (90%) is simply user error. ive played with android 4.0.0, 4.1.2 and 4.2.1 guess what?? IT'S NOT PERFECT!!! infact it felt buggier than my BBOS6, my only gripes with that phone was bad touch screen(not great) and the slow speed, you could tell apps were just patched on to try to please people.

How conveniently there has been NO CLEAR article on crackberry with the headline: "NO MORE PUSH EMAILS ON BLACKBERRY 10". All we are trying to do is trying to read between lines.
Push Mail was one of the few USPs of a Blackberry. Many other features that we loved on the BB7 have been discontinued. The feature I used to love was the ability to set individual volume levels for each alert. I understand that feature has also been done away with. Wonder which genius at RIM authorized these decisions? Alicia Keys?
So the Z10 is turning out to be a stripped down clone of an iPhone or an Android. Having been with Blackberry since 2006, I feel orphaned! Where do I go to now: iOS, Android, Windows8.. Never ever felt the need to peek into the rival OS-es, and now so freakin confused!

All the little things that make BBOS great took time to fine-tune and perfect. The customization options take a lot of time and testing to get it just right. They can't afford to have a major glitch in the BB10 because of a customization option at this point. This stuff needs to be added to the OS, but hopefully they don't rush it in there.

One thing I just noticed today after 5 years of using BlackBerrys has to do with the typing. We all know that when you press space twice after a word it adds a period and capitalizes the next letter. However, if you don't want a capital letter for some reason, all you have to do is delete that first letter of the new sentence and when you start typing again it will be lowercase. If you delete that first letter again, it will then go back to uppercase when you start typing again, and on and on....

Found that pretty cool.

One of the developers that I met during the launching of Z10 in Malaysia told me that blackberry will put the small network arrow (found at the corner of our legacy bbos) back into Z10.
but this will see the day possibly by June. U can imagine BB will bring back one after another the important tidbits back to Z10. Just wait for updates after U bought your Z10 to see the differences.

Too difficult to clear things up saying: BB10 do not require BIS. BIS will remain for bb7 and below.

If by "push email" you mean a BIS server handling the delivery of your messages then, no - BB10 doesn't have push email.

But then again, my PlayBook doesn't use BIS and it gets the messages at the same time as my 9780.

BB10 uses the same (if not better) process, so yes it does have Push.

And really, for the majority of users, it won't make a difference, so drop this.

BlackBerry has stated that BIS is not needed for BlackBerry 10 which is why they did not include it but I am sure BBM still goes through BlackBerry.

I'm not sure the video portion of BBM would go through the BB network. It would cost a lot to keep up a worldwide network that handles that much bandwidth.

All video chat systems go through some server. Skype goes through Skype's servers, FaceTime goes through Apple's servers, FaceFlow goes through FaceFlow's servers.

Video Chat on the PlayBook goes through BlackBerry's. Why would it be any different with BB10?

It's the big secret they daren't tell us pre-BB10. I'd have certainly thought twice about buying if I realised BIS was being carved up.

I bought the Z10 and am fairly happy with it. But what they've done with BIS is madness. They removed a key reason I bought BlackBerry in the first place.

I agree. I've got a Z10 and my emails take forever to come through. I'm assuming it's because push is not a part of BB10 service. Even using the "refresh" function on the Hub doesn't move things along.

In this regard, Z10 makes my 9800 look like a speed demon.

Really? Everything doesn't pushed anymore? Uhmm.. i think i will think very hard to buy Z10 this march. Move to another platform *maybe*

Really? WTF? I was thinking of switching back for BlackBerry just for this. I'm sure as hell not getting it if Email doesn't come in instantly. I guess I'm going Lumia instead.

This is not exactly true. I don't know the technicals behind this, but BB10 definitely still has Push email, but instead it is now based on the email provider instead of BIS. From my understanding (may be wrong), but if you get push email from your provider on your iPhone, you will also get it on BB10.

The point you're making is right. BB10 now only gets the same push emails as iPhone. The problem is that OS7 and earlier had push from ALL providers. That was the advantage over other products.

Now BB10 has removed the advantage in one of the few areas it had. As we can see in these comments, that's an issue for many of us.

That isn't true you know. There are situations where BIS will indeed poll every 15 minutes.

It's well documented and was never made a secret of. The one thing you all could claim about the loss of BIS is the security side of things, which most users never really took notice of.

Everyone uses active sync now so instead of RIM BIS push, its MS Active sync push or at worst IMAP, depending on your email provider

My Z10 almost always gets emails faster than my old BlackBerry did. I can estimate this because I always receive an email on my BlackBerry then my Outlook pops up that I received the same message. It used to be about a 5 second difference (BB then Outlook), but now it's closer to 10-15 seconds (BB then Outlook). It could just be that the Bell LTE network is quite good in my area though, but I couldn't be happier with email speed.

The loss of BIS isn't upsetting users with respect to the speed of email delivery, but rather the functions of push email and SMTP relay, to name a couple.

he isnt referring to how fast he can send an email from his phone, he's talking about how fast he still receives them on his Z10, i havent noticed any slower speeds in receiving emails on my Z10 and in fact its night and day faster than android. the only email they pushed was gmail, which who uses gmail for anything serious? also push wasn't removed with bb10, now it just relies on the email provider to support push, and it also supports ActiveSync, so if any email client licenses that or what ever, your emails will be pushed to you

That picture is not for MTN South Africa, we dont have 9220. My best guess it MTN Ghana. We have 9320 and its 2300 ZAR / 170.46 GBP.

"As you may know, South Africa is pretty much the only market where carriers have offered uncapped offers for BlackBerry OS smartphones (now for some time)."

James. you're wrong in this one as India also have these types of plans, here we get unlimited bbm+email for $5 and unlimited internet+bbm+email for $7 for BBOS devices.

Same exactly in Egypt. I am worried about BlackBerry Z10 not having BIS and it's success in Egypt too.

What they are saying is that while a BIS is not required for BB10, one can still use it on the Z10 and the unlimited plans will continue in developing countries where bandwidth usage is kinda low...

Correct me If I am wrong

No. They are saying that BIS will still remain for OS7 and below devices. No BIS for BB10.

This article was meant to clarify things but still ends up being a bit confusing

One doesn't even need to read the article to clear up the confusion as to which uses BIS:
BB10 = no
OS 7 & earlier = yes

You're not wrong bhrgv.

A BB10 phone will work if a BIS active SIM card is in. I know of people doing it right now.

What I still don't know for certain though is how BIS (and the extra steps it is known for) affects the phone's performance.

So far, it seems that it hinders the phone's performance, but it COULD HAVE BEEN the carrier/signal strenght combo messing it up.

I'll know more when I have my own unit.

I think Blackberry and the carriers should come up with a better option.
I would love a plan where I get a set amount of data for browsing, bbm video/voice and everything else. whenever I exceed that set amount I am restricted to sending and recieving regular bbm messages. Everything is one cost though so I dont see another line item on my bill and it cannot be exceeded. so lets say I have 3g of data. when it gets to within 1g remaining for the month I am restricted to BBM only - no advanced features. That way I would be able to budget for a specific bill everymonth without worring about overage but never worry about not having access to BBM as thats my main mode of communicating.

Again BlackBerry's communication with the public needs to be cleaned up. Has always been an issue with them and apparently continues even with the new messengers. But now we know, BB10 is now no different from the competitors now in terms of data usage and features, just a different UI and smaller ecosystem with BBM. Very disappointing especially considering the wait we continue to have in the US for features and functionality we could have gotten a couple years ago with the competition. Thankfully I'm going to be setting up a BES10 at work for some testing and possible implementation and can hopefully can get some of the capability back.

Guys you pay for BIS. So its not free. You can send and receive as much as you want at the moment. On BB10 you will still pay but it will be calculated by the amount of data you use. That is why you find most people who leave BB and down grade to another make of fone come running back to BB for the BIS. Their data costs just go through the roof. That is how BB10 will work. Me thinks. Big secret and big mistake by BB.

Vodacom and MTN South Africa confirmed that BIS on BB10 will not be supported, as far as other posts and threads some carriers still support BIS in other countries. At the moment the cheapest plan for Z10 will cost as follows:

399ZAR (29.57GBP , $45.07)
250mb, +- 100 talk time minutes

399ZAR (29.57GBP , $45.07)
75mb, 75 talk time minutes, 150 sms

Still waiting on Cell C and 8ta to launch the Z10 on the 1st of March

If there is no potential for BIS, why is my data APN on Bell still ''?

I'm not saying that my data is being compressed at the moment, but the potential to route through the Blackberry relay service is still there no?

If BlackBerry becomes a whore of the carriers (who hate traditionally data-compression) and get an average smartphone (without eMail-push), I will change to android and will delete my account here at CB. (Okay- that means nothing to CB and the community, but people who know we could realize what this step means to me!) BlackBerry becomes more and more a disappointment for me. First the incapability to react "in time" for the market, the (much to long) waiting for BB10 and now the reducing of services! In the sum I'm glad about the delay of Telekom Germany- so I get the time to think twice about the half-hearted "re-invented" BlackBerry! It needs a long time to fall from grace, but BlackBerry is very close to it!

What would you have them do? If they didn't whore themselves out then the carriers would kill them, as they did, by pushing everything but blackberry on their customers. Data has become the gravy carriers want every mb of it. I don't see why you would hold bb responsible for being forced into a position they obviously tried to resist for as long as posssible, but failed to convince the masses that their way was the better way. It's either do or die.

AMEN, finally someone who has a clue! lol what would they have done if they had bis but no service providers to sell them from or hook them up...nothing, even if they pulled google and the nexus 4 that still doesnt give you a BIS plan when you go into your local service provider. i feel bad for blackberry, do everything possible to stay in the game(make arguably the best phone on the market, on the best os on the market) and people still complain, oh it doesnt have bis, it doesnt have sync support on link, my backup doesnt work properly, where's whatsapp, you cant send a direct message on the twitter app....on and on and on. how many people online have actually seriously ever coded something, i have a very basic school level of programming and could imagine the complexity of taking something (some) people absolutely loved which is in a different language and convert it to something different and from the ground up(an os that has been maturing for a decade) yet its expected that it should happen instantly. also have you ever noticed that if you convert english to french or any other language, the translation is never exactly as it was said in english? hmmmm curious i wonder if the same applies to writing in java apposed to QNX. again i feel bad for blackberry, no wonder they didn't release the phone and os in september, Heins sir you are a genius, to see the way this os and device has been nit-picked and critiqued like no other os has been before, you surely would have driven this fantastic product into the ground trying to get it out "on-time". i stand up and applaud you for making the tough choice you did.

p.s. on the point i made about being criticized as no other os has, you dont see all that much greif given to apple over the maps, when that was the innovation of the iphone 5 and ios6 like what changed? tell me someone what changed, that it took a year from apple to release it? how about there 6.1 update that caused serious issues with exchange servers? that could not have possibly only taken them 4-5 months to release that? what? an update to fix connectivity issues and battery life and it causes more problems? and there are similar instances with android, its a 4 yr old os, yet no where near perfect, had lots of bugs on my s3, also how about the security issue that affected all phones with the exynos processor in it? all the while samsung puts on a big charade with its SAFE for enterprise commercials. what a joke, everyone give your head a shake, what did you expect, somehow blackberry was going to be able to turn their phone into a time machine? the os is as near flawless as ive ever experienced, and the few tiny bugs ive seen im sure will be patched in the first update, also alot of the old feature of desktop software will be coming the next few weeks in an update to link

My understanding is that Outlook. com, Gmail and Yahoo can be setup as direct push email. So even though you will lose your email account, you still can have fast email.

If push email from any provider doesn't work like on BB7, then I won't be switching. I am choosing between the Q10 and the Lumia 920 and this surely would make it an obvious decision.

So... You're saying that if the Q10 can't push email like the BB7 phone you have, you'll switch to another phone that CAN'T push email like the BB7 phone you have, which is the very reason you won't go for the Q10.

I really, really love your logic. would get the Q10? as both phones use their manufactures proprietary network to push email to the device! thats right, blackberry was the only company that did that. the lumia has no more push capability than bb10, every bb10 phone is capable of doing it, its up to the email provider to support it. also the only point i can give to the 920 over the z10 or q10 is its camera. but BB10 or windows 8, ill take bb10 any day. ive never used a wp daily but ive played with it on customer devices and its not nice, it has pretty colours but thats the extent of it.

Not trying to be biased or defensive for BlackBerry but as a South African and a BlackBerry user enjoying BIS i feel BlackBerry has released a phone that will compete with the now cool devices (iPhone and S3).

Many people who leave BB for those devices its a result of a slow OS and BIS not giving the best performance hence the data cap from our carriers (enforcing fare usage of BIS). The Z10 on the other hand will adopt the same data plan that the other devices are currently using .

My point is, If BB is introducing a Device that will use normal data plans like the rest of the smartphone world... why switch?

- is it anger or rather disappointment for BB not supporting BIS?
- is it apps ?

Removing BIS was a bad idea in my opinion. There should be an option to choose whether or not you want to remain on BIS when you go in to your carrier.

The compressed data while travelling was a huge deal for me.

Now I have to deal with the same problems iPhone/Android users face when they travel, massive data roaming charges. A lot of people are going to go elsewhere because of this...current BlackBerry users could justify moving to Android now because besides BBM, the Android does everything better (except security).

I'm still thoroughly enjoying my Z10 and will probably be getting the Q10 once it is released here in Canada, but I feel like the BlackBerry has lost a lot of the key features which kept me around this long.

I wonder if BB10 devices enrolled on BES enjoy compressed data? Can anyone clarify that?

BIS is an option most BB users would be happy to pay for. Not available as a paid service on the Z10 or Q10? What is wrong with Blackberry?

i don't know why peopel think BIS is gone with BB1, if you look at the Z10 beside the signal bar you get the BIS icon its not there just for looks we still get all the protection of the legacy devices we just don't have push e mail through the NOC or data compression, and the thing is i haven't noticed my data usage going up since i've switched to my Z10 so i would think there is still a bit of compression somewhere weather its built in or it stores loaded data so all it has to do is send out info and bring in new text, either way my data usage is not noticably higher then what my legacy berrys where

People think BIS is gone because blackberry announced that BIS is gone. If you're using BB10 you aren't using BIS, period. You're using your carriers data plan. BlackBerry was never able to get BB10 functioning with BIS, you are not connected to BIS, at all. There is also no data compression going on, as has been noted by every tech blog on the planet for weeks.
including on this site.

very informative article...

however, after reading it, I wouldn't say it's not connected to BIS "at all", because the article itself says

"However, Goldstuck says the text component of the revised BBM application will still run over the existing BIS architecture, meaning operators may sell a data bundle with BBM as a value-add at no cost."

I interpret that as: you'll still have to get a data plan to use it, but once you do, it will be running through BIS...

" South Africa is one of the few markets"..... well ALL these markets are the one that kept RIM alive all these years
Z10 and Q10 will not convince many people from android or iOS to switch but they did a good job convincing us in those FEW markets to finally say bye bye

So correct me if i am wrong. Developing nations embraced bb due to its bis and access to cheap data. Bb10 does not have bis nor will it ever therefore cheap data is gone. So the bb10 devices are pretty much useless in these markets for their avg user. so bbry is banking on app sales and z10 sales in first world nations? Talk about betting the farm. Oh and z10 users still face outages in bbm because all the positives of bis are gone yet the negatives remain?

Facetime and iCloud has had outages, and I would guess Whatsapp has had them too. Anything that relies on a data center connected to the Internet cannot provide 100% uptime, it is simply not possible.

The way I see it is the carriers are not making money from BIS. They want to sell their data plans. BlackBerry's hand is being forced here and BlackBerry do not have much say or carriers will not sell BlackBerry10. For this reason you cannot set APN on a BlackBerry10 device so that you are forced to make use of carrier data plans. I cannot even route my Z10 through my company APN. I am forced to make use of the carrier data plans. I am planning to take this matter up with consumer protection.

That maybe a carrier restriction as ! can change my Z10s APN and I still have a BB symbol. Im in the UK on Orange.

BTW: Where can I get the theme from the black 9900? It looks like Seven Point Five but with BB10 icons.

Thanks a lot.

There seems to be a lot of confusion... I actually have a white z10 and got it on the 1st day of release in the UK. The sales guy at Phones4u was speaking to Orange CS staff to set up the contract and said to them "remember the issue we had this morning. Make sure you add this guy to the BIS data plan". I asked him what he meant and he said some customers had issues that morning with there BBM not working and that was down to them not having a BIS account.

I set up my z10 later that day on a new BBID (I've kept my 9900 on a 2nd line) but I couldn't get BBM to work. I called Orange CS team and they confirmed that there was no BIS data plan on the line just a regular one. Once he switched me over to BIS my BBM started working shortly after when I attempted to set it up.

So I wouldn't panic too much guys... It seems as if BIS is still around ;-)

Just wanted to add after reading an earlier comment BBM Voice calls seem to work over 3G (I've received one while walking down the street) but I hear BBM Video needs 4G (I'm not on a 4G plan). There is a setting in BBM that asks if you want to receive BBM calls via your mobile networks signal.

Confusion was there from the beginning for me too and although most of that is sorted out I still do have several questions. Yes one doesn't need the flatrate 60 bucks package with the new blackberry Z10 as one did with "legacy" devices as they now calling them however if I wanted could I still add or use that unlimited plan with a Z10?? I thought BBM was supposed to be so secure that it passes through RIM servers?? How about push email? will we have to rely on service providers for that. It's these subtle things that make the Z10 just seem like another phone. The distinguishing factors that were boldly blackberry are slowly fading away. Only BBM remains.
My opinion is taking BIS away especially here in S.A will have a huge effect on new consumers adopting the new Z10. The networks are smiling to the bank for they are given a device and get to stamp on whichever amount of data they presume will not tear a hole in their pockets and then forge on ahead to charge an arm and a leg for it. I'm willing to bet that about 60percent od BIS users here will fight tooth and nail to remain on onld blackberry devices irrespective of how alluring the Z10 is. As a student I feel data prices are the highest in S.A. As a few people have stated above MTN SA only gives you a measly 200MB. Most people use that in a day. Granted BIS was never meant or intended to be used or rather abused for heavy downloads but sadly truth of the matter is people are using it just for that and now the rest of us have to suffer via throttling and introduction of soft caps.
I wouldn't mind a capped package however be generous with the data that I don't have to have sleepless nights about going over the limit. Just that with blackberry i'd hear a song, fire up shazam and look it up, check it up online, maybe even download it {legally} ofcourse, share with a friend of mine, post on social sites about it. Discuss it, maybe even make a remix of it and share that too all without thinking about any data limits. Now most feel thrust into the WAP era where we watch our data consumption like hawks not to go a single megabyte over lest we get milked dry with the outrageous out of bundle charges that these service providers charge.

I still think they messed it up with BIS and BB10.

See if you can follow... BlackBerry has a few services they can charge for:

* BBM;
* BBM Music;
* Video Store (right now it's buy/rent);
* BlackBerry Protect

What I'd do is turn those services into the reason you'd have to pay for a BIS plan. BBM and BBM music would be services you subscribe for. "You want me to pay for BBM???" you may ask me. Yes. That's what we do NOW. Don't pay for BIS, no BBM for you.

Video Store (now part of AppWorld - that is - BlackBerry World) would still allow you to rent or buy titles, but on BIS, you'd be allowed to stream a number (5/month?) of titles or even turn the service into a full blown NetFlix clone.

Protect has been baked into the OS. Well, think SnapSecure. It would be pretty much the same thing. No BIS gets you some features. BIS gets you the whole package.

Can these justify paying the very same amount we do now for BIS? No. Not really. Slash the prices by 50% or something.

Could this be a very good game for BlackBerry? Yes. Maybe even better than BIS as it is. Do we pay the carriers anything for NetFlix? Skype? SnapSecure? BOX/DropBox/SugarSync premium accounts? No. We pay directly to the service provider. BlackBerry would be getting the money directly from us. That could possibly mean BIS prices even lower than 50% (or not, I didn't do the math and I won't really - but you get the point).

But hey, what do I know...

Sorry to say, CB will need a better article than this to clear up confusion.

I think if anything this glosses over the details and increases the confusion.

Many people have gross misconceptions of what BIS actually is and does, and about how different carriers have very different pricing models for BIS around the world.

Given how much of the loyal Blackberry base around the world is loyal SPECIFICALLY because of low-cost BIS plans, Blackberry needs to manage this transition better than they appear to have been so far, because they could stand to lose a LOT of customers if they mis-manage it.

Blackberry has been publicly almost completely silent about what the removal of the BIS plan tie-in on BB10 actually means, SPECIFICALLY.

Platitudes like "Don't worry, everything will be fine" don't cut it.

A couple of more clarifications. A number of people here have said that you don't require a BIS plan with the Z10. It's more than that. You can't get a BIS plan with the Z10. Also, BBM still goes through the RIM NOC (servers), but the data is no longer compressed the way it used to be.

The notion that unlimited BIS plans were only offered in developing countries is also not true. In Canada there were much cheaper data plans for Blackberry with unlimited email & BBM. That will not be offered with the BB10 devices, because the email and bbm compression was a factor of more than 10. Maybe the name BB10 comes from using 10X the data (bad joke, I know)?

Lastly, the repeated theory that the carriers forced Blackberry to abandon compression is not true. The reality is that they tried to maintain compression algorithms with QNX, but were unable to make it stable.

Anyway, like many here, I am concerned with the loss of compression, but hope the new OS will develop into something that allows them to compete long into the future.

why dont people understand this. the service providers never actually gave you bis as something that was a great deal, an "unlimited" plan wasnt necessary, on my torch i had to push it to its limit to hit 250 mb, using a S3 under the same conditions i used OVER 2GB. guess what you pay 60 dollars to have an "unlimited" plan and you consume 80 percent less than the iphone/android user paying 60 dollars for 3 gb( or if you are lucky enough to live in saskatchewan, you get real unlimited as iphone or android and now z10 user(true unlimited meaning, speeds are reduced after 10gb, no overages.)) so please tell me how thats saving you money? i suppose if you live in a place that only offers 250 mb or a sad 75 mb then i guess i do feel bad for you, but it wont be any different on any other device, in fact i can pretty well gurantee you the others use more. AND AGAIN, NOT BLACKBERRY'S DECISION TO TRY AND SCREW EVERYONE, ITS THE SERVICE PROVIDERS. you dont like it then complain to them, maybe start some petitions. thats the only leverage you have, saying on Crackberry your going to get a lumia or android doesnt do anything but make getting a bis plan back even more unattainable, as your going to only hurt blackberry's sales, and the TELECOM company laughs their way to the bank. truth hurts. complain to your providers, not crackberryer's

You people don't understand. We don't care about BIS. We care about uncapped Internet. RIM has taken our uncapped Internet and left us to pay 2ZAR per MB to the carriers. Those prices are absurd. We have the highest data prices in the world.

BB 9800
BB Playbook OS 2.0

RIM (Blackberry) never provided uncapped Internet. The carriers did, and they did because it was economical due to the compression.

The carriers never explained anything properly and havent done a proper release of the product, rather some kind of sketchy early release because they realised there it so much demand for the device I can only assume, because their intended release was March.
Ive queried how they actually operate in such a ridiculous way with them each individually in countless ways, but as any South African will tell you, they dont care.
To clarify the BB OS10 devices run on data, just like an iphone or android. All BBOS7 devices and below WILL STILL RUN ON THE 60ZAR BIS PACKAGE
Another thing apart from the carriers launching earlier then expected Incredible Connection who had opened their online store to pre-orders of the z10, contract free, for the 1st of March, announced today that they now have devices available in store, a week before their previously announced release, just pointing more towards demand, as I see it.
I dont see why people should be complaining about paying for data since they've already been paying ridiculous prices for those other devices.
Ive had my Z10 for the past few days (loving it), Ive not shy'd away from anything that uses data and downloaded a fair amount from BBWorld and video or 2 and Ive only used about 200mb ***just saying

First you can't blame RIM/BlackBerry. Blame the consumers and the carriers. Carriers pushed BB to the back of the stores, put devices up that wouldn't run and data charges. Consumers complained about paying 2-3 dollars a month for BIS. It was okay to get cell bills $200-800.00 a month though on data overages. But Apple said that was okay. The z10 is an awesome device, it is better than iphone 5 and better than android. My email is bullet fast and so is my browser while I still enjoy the security that BB puts as priority number 1. The apps are coming in daily, and above the date for whatapp was announced. The z10 has so much to offer. I know our company is renewing its contract with Rogers as they will be offering more data at lower costs. BBM works awesome and over wifi also. If you are in a region, and you need BIS, RIM is still producing and selling the OS7 phones. You have to choose. BUT you can't blame RIM/BB, nor have they abandoned you. Z10 again is awesome.


Wow, after reading the article and comments here bashing RIM.. I was going to more or less write the same thing. We the consumer and our trusted carriers (yeah right) killed BIS. It was a service that required service revenue and NOBODY wanted to pay for it and the carrier's didn't want it cause they want to gouge you for data at every corner.

z10 (BB10 platform) is a great phone and out of all the carriers and mobile manufacturers out there.. Blackberry is the only one IMO that looks out for me, the consumer, as best as they can.. the others couldn't give a crap.

So Blackberry you have my money and my commitment! You all can make up your own minds .. jump to the competition .. but in the end you'll be asking yourself why? At least BB is trying with their new technology and valued input that they get from their customers, but there is only so much they can do to stay viable!

Well, I was using BBM with no simcard on just wifi. So that tells you waht you need to know about BIS.

Had push email, and everything; locked phone, never been connected to a mobile network.

So ya, u don't need BIS.

Had the connected to BB symbol.

James maybe its because Nigerians just are not so much into this crackberry thing. I for one can tell you that Nigeria is one of the major users of BB. So you're wrong on your conclusion of having to say south Africa is the major users of BB. I support the other guy from India.

James maybe its because Nigerians just are not so much into this crackberry thing. I for one can tell you that Nigeria is one of the major users of BB. So you're wrong on your conclusion of having to say south Africa is the major users of BB. I support the other guy from India.

I put my B9900 next to my PB and guess where I get my emails just a few seconds earlier? On the PlayBook.

Hi, I got my BB Z10 12 days ago here in UAE from Etisalat, and true on the first days those guys could not give a clear info, however since 10 days I'm running my BB Z10 on Blackberry Unlimited Package exactly the same I had my earlier BB 7 running on. I'm not that kind of specialist but for my understanding it means I'm using BIS on BB Z10 and what I think it says BB 10 don't NEED it but you can get it. So why you guys in SA are not checking out the new BB Z10 on your old BIS contract and so you don't need to swap to expensive Data Packages. Please explain to me if I'm wrong....

Maik M

South African carriers are not offering any unlimited package. All reasonable packages being offered have 200Mb cap before you fall into data charges.

oh ok, and I thought u guys have only a problem that you would need to shift to a limited and expensive data package to use with BB Z10 and that BB was so popular in SA because their BIS Service was unlimited Data - flat rate or atleast higher than 200 MB.

Yes, it is unlimited, flat rate on BB7 but they changed it on BB10 and that's what everyone is making a noise about. The only reason it was popular is flat rate uncapped. Now it won't be so popular.

It's a big problem for me because I use upto 5-10GB per month.

if BIS is not BB then what is? If u cannot enjoy your BB without BIS then......................................................... RIM or Blackberry as they are now seem to be the dumbest company in the world. Not sure they know where their core market is. Just get your damned phones to Nigeria and it will sell more than water.

Still seems to be lots of confusion and conflicting accounts. I am in the US so I will wait long after release to read from users exactly what is happening on each providers plans. BB is being vague here for sure.

We have 14 company phones and I have 5 phones running in the family household. Our plans are 500mb of data per month. In the company 3 additional phones are byod and they are SIII's. The old BB phones beat those hand down when it comes to messaging, email etc. Now we have introduced 4 Z10 phones into the company as a test, and 3 into the household. My daughter has the iphone 5. About mid month she is crying she is out of data. Not once in the history of the company (1984) has anyone on BB gone over data. As we got our new z10s Feb 6th I won't be able to comment on data usage as of yet. Once I get the company bill in March, I will gladly post the real findings. I can tell you, my daughter and her iphone 5 are once again strictly on wifi till March 1st. As for our experience on the z10. It is awesome, fast, very stable and nothing beats the hub.

CB or Blackberry just need to clarify all these issues. Make things explicit for people to catch. Don't hide, tell us what was before Z10, is now with Z10 and what will be. Don't fool away developing countries... Viva BB

The term CrackBerry came about because people were addicted to that instant and reliable e-mail delivery. In moving away from BIS we are at the mercy of the carriers for timely delivery of e-mail. My own personal experience with Sprint, and my brother's experience with AT&T and Verizon, the carriers are inconsistent with e-mail delivery. I understand the carriers wanting the revenue for data, but they suck at managing data delivery. This may be fine for someone who does not need e-mail for business, but given the poor track record of many carriers, the change away from BIS courts disaster.

People who rely upon timely e-mail delivery are better off getting a BB7 smartphone, if they do not have one now. The reliability of e-mail is one of the main reasons many of us have used a BlackBerry. If we need and want fast reliable e-mail, then why should we give up BIS for BB10?

I'm a Nigerian and its true BlackBerry is like the best phone users can't even demo their phones.....but I will vouch for Nigerians a BB that doesn't run on BIS is like heartbreaking+ without the security the BIS offers now our beloved BB10 could be prone to viruses and malwares just like 'em iphones and android devices.....and in Nigeria we pay $20 for unlimited BIS and close to $190 for Unlimited data bundle....ofcourse I use MTN Nigeria.

You know what really pisses me off of this hole story i have been with blackberry for a couple of years now yea i use a crap load of data a month but vodacom,Mtn,Virgin should really catch with the times i got friend in the UK she tells me she pays 15 Ponds(R210) for a package there this gives her Unlimited Data nothing of fair use apply s and unlimited Messages and also 10 Ponds (R140) to Phone with in that month the internet speeds on there phones are triple of what i got with Vodacom and Mtn And double what i got with Cellc The Uk has been running this product for years now and yet South africa is still not there Vodacome has been talking about a new Unlimited package they going to launch my question is where they geting the servers to deal with the pressure but yet people have been straggling with there blackberry phones for the last 2 years also now i got a message from Cellc they going to throttled back my data speed as this inpacting other people i work nightshift how the hell do they this this is going to impact others

the fact is that they are all just greedy people they get data for next to nothing put a markup on it and sell to us then still tries to tell us what is fair usage i dont mind paying for data if it was at a fair price but these people are nuts if i am wrong about something please let me know but i think SP in south africa is a load of crap