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State-owned telecommunications operator Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has started offering an alternative, more affordable service alongside its current BIS offering in India. The service in question may ring some bells as it is none other than Bharat Berry. Back when tensions between India and RIM were at their peak, several local companies in the country considered utilizing alternative solutions to BIS or moving out of the BlackBerry platform altogether. Concerns arose when the future of BIS in India was uncertain, but the situation is nothing like this anymore - India and RIM have long buried all troubles of the past.
Funambol-based Bharat Berry brings push email as well as contacts and calendar sync to your BlackBerry smartphone. It is available on MTNL for a monthly subscription rate of Rs. 80 (approximately 1.80 USD). It should be noted that Bharat Berry can't offer any other services such as BBM, but for the low price of the service, it is likely to attract many individuals who simply need no more than push email and PIM sync. So while the service is not perfect, it is a start. And as Ajay Data, Director at Bharat Berry, puts it, "We [Bharat Berry] are looking to make every handset in this country an empowered one."