BlackBerry Mania Shows No Signs of Slowing in Indonesia
Old promotional deals may be ending, but BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is still enjoying its honeymoon in Indonesia, with sales expected to rise as operators compete with better prices, bigger networks and new bargains.
Telkomsel, the country’s biggest mobile phone operator, had 3.5 million BlackBerry users last year and aims for 5 million this year, according to Ricardo Indra, the operator’s head of corporate communications.
Last year, the operator offered three months of unlimited BlackBerry services for Rp 100,000 ($11), far cheaper than the normal rate of Rp 99,000 for 30 days.
And while that deal has ended, its new deal, BlackBerry Sosialita, allows access to messenger services, social networking applications and browsing for Rp 70,000 a month. Telkomsel also aims to expand its 3G infrastructure network to 100 cities, up from 46 cities currently.
The country’s second-biggest operator, Indosat, which has 1.5 million BlackBerry users, also offered three months of unlimited BlackBerry services last year for Rp 100,000, and this year it will offer the same deal for Rp 90,000.
“We hope with this affordable rate, more people will enjoy Indosat’s BlackBerry services,” said Andrini Novie Hastuti, head of marketing at the operator.
Not all operators are keeping their deals, however. In February, XL Axiata, the third-biggest operator, ended its deal offering three months of unlimited services for Rp 49,000. Users must now pay the normal rate of Rp 99,000 for 30 days.
A RIM spokesperson told Agence France-Presse on Jan. 1 that Indonesia had about 5 million BlackBerry users, and the company predicted it would have 9.7 million users by 2015. Analysts expect the new BlackBerry Curve 9220, which is less expensive than other models, to help boost sales.