TOP STORY: MTN targets pre-paid clients for BlackBerry

The company is targeting 1000 BlackBerry subscribers in 2009 MTN’s mobile phone pre-paid clients will, by the end of next month be able to enjoy the benefits of the newly launched BlackBerry product.
MTN’s CEO, Themba Khumalo. (File Photo)
MTN’s CEO, Themba Khumalo. (File Photo)

The company is targeting 1000 BlackBerry subscribers in 2009

MTN’s mobile phone pre-paid clients will, by the end of next month be able to enjoy the benefits of the newly launched BlackBerry product.

Officials at the Nyarutarama MTN Head Offices have said that by March another product that befits those on the ‘pay-as-you go’ service would be launched for those who might wish to use BlackBerry smart phones.

Thembo Khumalo, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), last month said that MTN had reached an estimated 1.2 million subscribers. However of these, 99 percent are on prepaid system, leaving a meager one percent for post-paid clients.

MTN Rwanda’s pre-paid subscribers are yet to benefit from the BlackBerry services.

The BlackBerry solution which brings together smart phones, software and service to allow easy access to e-mail, phone, calendar, web, multimedia and corporate data applications was launched in Rwanda recenty.

Yvonne Makolo, MTN Rwanda’s Head of Marketing and Sales confirmed the development but a date was not specified.

However Makolo said that, if one has a BlackBerry handset connected to other regional networks, MTN Rwanda would consider unlocking it so that it can be used within the country.  She said that for those networks which share roaming services with MTN Rwanda, the service is automatic.

MTN Rwanda is the country’s biggest cell phone operator with Rwandatel as the only market competitor, while Millicom is yet to start operations after competitively winning the third telecom operator’s license last year.

The company is targeting 1000 BlackBerry subscribers in 2009. MTN is said to have invested in excess of $5 million (Rwf2.8 billion) including a $1 million (Rwf557.6 million) guarantee with a Canadian wireles company called Research-In-Motion (RIM).
The 3G enabled BlackBerry Curve 8320 costs Rwf430,000 while the BlackBerry Bold costs Rwf320,000.

Individual subscribers pay monthly charges of Rwf30,000 and Rwf35,000 depending on the services one is connected to.

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