BlackBerry has launched a low-cost plan within 15 circles in India in order to expand its network within India. Its offering all its services for 129 rupees (US$2.38) per gigabyte in 15 mid- and low-revenue generating circles, including Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.
According to The Times of India last week, BlackBerry will offer services like e-mail, BlackBerry Messenger, instant messaging, social networking, Internet browsing, as well as access to the BlackBerry World application store. In the metros such as Mumbai and New Delhi, and top four telecom circles of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, the plan is only limited to the use of BlackBerry Messenger only.
The new plan is for BlackBerry OS 7 smartphones in India, which include the BlackBerry Curve 9220, BlackBerry Curve 9320, BlackBerry Bold 9990, and BlackBerry Bold 9 smartphone models. The new monthly plan will only be available with Indian telecom operators Aircel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone.
BlackBerry is still facing an uphill battle to lure new customers and retain existing customers within India, as there was another service outage last week. E-mails and messages using BlackBerry Messenger were non-functional, just for a few hours. In certain regions, BlackBerry Enterprise was also inaccessible for some time too.
A few hours of downtime can seem like a lifetime for hardcore corporate users. It's interesting that the Canadian firm still faces outages in India, more so as BlackBerry set up a remote operations center in Mumbai last year. BlackBerry had no choice but to give in to concessions set by the Indian government. Even after doing so, there are still random and sporadic outages, usually just for users based in India.
In spite of their technical issues, with both new price plans being introduced in India, along with the BlackBerry models introduced earlier this year, skeptics can't write off BlackBerry that easily. They've been able to turn around their downward consumer trend, with BlackBerry now focusing more on developing nations that can benefit from their services and products, such as India.