Yesterday, AT&T announced two new consumer pricing plans for smartphone customers based on wireless data usage – $15/month for 200MB and $25/month for 2GB. RIM is excited by AT&T’s announcement since the majority of the market is still using a traditional cell phone and RIM believes the $15 price point will help convince many more consumers to make the switch to a smartphone. RIM also expects these pricing plans to translate to significant savings for many of our existing customers due to the industry-leading efficiency of the BlackBerry platform. Based on recent analyst estimates of wireless data usage, most consumers using BlackBerry Internet Service on the AT&T network will now qualify to use the $15/month data plan.
The BlackBerry platform offers a unique advantage by leveraging advanced technologies and infrastructure to deliver data more efficiently. This approach is important not only for users to be able to make the most of the new service plans mentioned above, but RIM thinks it is also important from an industry perspective, as more and more consumers jump on the smartphone bandwagon and begin consuming more bandwidth.
Recent reports indicate that the surge in wireless data usage is already placing a greater and greater strain on today’s networks. The recent Rysavy Research report even outlines how the United States would exhaust its available spectrum in the next three to five years if the industry doesn’t come to grips with this capacity crunch (see figure below). RIM is answering this challenge for both consumers and carriers by embracing the need to deliver high-value, high-efficiency products and services for a broad and growing range of customers.
Average Demand Per User Versus Average Capacity Per User
Anyone interested in a more technical take on the need for efficiency can check out the Rysavy Research report titled “Mobile Broadband Capacity Constraints and the Need for Optimization”.