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Rogers taxes Blackberry business users; shafts partner RIM

Bowing to pressure from irate customers earlier this year, Rogers cut data rates dramatically just ahead of the iPhone launch. For a limited time, Rogers is offering a 6G data plan for $30/month. At the time Rogers announced that these new data rates would apply across the board to all smartphone customers, whether iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, or Nokia devices.  And subsequently, it extended that offer to the end of September in order to allow new BlackBerry Bold owners to also take advantage of it.

Little noticed, however, was the provision that Rogers new data pricing didn’t apply to users of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) — a large constituency of BlackBerry owners.  If you get your BlackBerry email from a BES, you pay from a different rate table.

  Other Smartphone Users Blackberry Enterprise Server User
300M $30 $45
1G $60 $100
6B $100 Not available

When iPhone 3G came out I signed up for the $30/mo 6G special rate.  Even taking advantage of Rogers new $45/mo fee for 300M of data on my BlackBerry, data on BlackBerry is still costing me 20x the cost of data on iPhone.

Moreover, there are even better plans available to other smartphone users, including a Flex Rate plan which charges between $50 and $100 per month for data usage ranging from 500M to 5G.  No such plan is available to the BlackBerry Enterprise User.

BlackBerry’s forte has always been email.  Current generation products continue that heritage, but the competition is not far behind.  Whether it’s a Windows mobile product from HTC, Apple’s iPhone, or Nokia’s super new E71 handset, they’re all now capable email devices.  Rogers’ move puts a ton of pressure on the already embattled RIM, as it introduces one more reason not to choose BlackBerry with biased pricing that unfairly tips the playing field to RIM competitors.

No doubt RIM’s Jim Balsillie must already be on the telephone asking Ted Rogers why Rogers Communications is giving one of their best handset partners of the last decade such a public shafting.

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Midlake September 2, 2008, 4:43 pm

    This biased pricing is BS and while we are going to bite the bullet and go with Blackberry Bolds, I know at least 3 companies in the investment business who have decided to switch to iPhones for their 2008 hardware upgrades due to the huge data cost savings.

  • Alec September 2, 2008, 4:46 pm

    it's dramatically short sighted, Midlake.

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