No financial impact from BlackBerry suspension says du CEO

Du CEO unveils new plans designed to minimise disruption and remove financial burden from customers

Tags: BlackBerryEmirates Integrated Telecommunications Company United Arab Emirates
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No financial impact from BlackBerry suspension says du CEO Du will work to advise customers on alternative email clients for smartphones, said Sultan. (ITP Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  August 4, 2010

Du CEO Osman Sultan has said that he does not expect to see significant economic impact on the company due to the suspension of BlackBerry services ordered by the TRA.

Speaking at the launch of du's alternative packages for current BlackBerry subscribers, Sultan commented: "I believe customers are still there, customers have needs as far as their email is concerned, I don't see a significant impact on the economical [aspect] as far as Du is concerned."

Sultan said that while BlackBerry had played an important part in the growth of the operator, with close to 100,000 customers for the service, it was only part of du's drive for growth, and that there was still an "appetite for telecommunications service" in the UAE.

The operator unveiled a number of packages for existing du BlackBerry subscribers to replace their BlackBerry service, under the banner of ‘Assurance Plans'. Sultan said the new plans had been developed with the aim of minimizing disruption to services, and placing no financial impact on customers.

The packages, for business and individual customers would generally allow customers to transition to unlimited national and unlimited international data packages for a ‘Standard Assurance Plan', with an additional 1,000 free SMS messages; or to switch to a cheaper 12 month contract ‘Data Assurance Plan' which would also include the free SMS, or upgrade to a more expensive ‘Smartphone Assurance Plan' which would also be on a 12 month contract basis with the same data and SMS, with an added discount of up to 2,000 dhs on a new smartphone.

The new plans will be available from 1st September, with any customers who did not select a new plan being automatically transferred to the Standard Assurance Plan from 11th October.

While du would work with customers to suggest suitable email clients for new smartphones, Sultan said that the company did not currently have any plans to provide a push email service to substitute the BlackBerry mail service. BlackBerry users from outside the region will not be able to use the blocked services within the UAE, so would have to access email via web-based services.

Sultan also said that the UAE TRA would not be providing any compensation to the operator for costs incurred in the suspension.

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