Smartphone manufacturer Research In Motion has not denied it will be discontinuing the uncapped fixed-cost BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) which has contributed significantly to the device’s popularity across Africa.
The new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system and architecture is app-centric and as such encourages a higher usage of data.
South Africa’s Vodacom, the largest BIS mobile service provider, has experienced “abuse” of its BIS service.
BIS has proved especially popular in South Africa and Nigeria, with the African continent one of the few places where BlackBerry is still performing well.
When questioned by HumanIPO about whether BB10, which is to be launched at the end of January 2013, will see the end of BIS, all RIM said was: “RIM is working closely with our carrier partners to prepare for the launch of BlackBerry 10 in South Africa. A public announcement will be made when the product becomes commercially available in the country.”
The Canadian mobile phone manufacturer refused to answer questions relating to how non-BB10 handsets will be affected by the new operating system and architecture and whether or not users will get an option to upgrade the operating system on their older BlackBerry smartphones.
Furthermore, it remains to be seen how RIM will handle the discontinuation of BIS, should the rumours prove to be true, seeing that there will still be older BlackBerry handsets and some with contracts that specify BIS as part of the package.
HumanIPO has since reported BlackBerry will not be running BIS on its new operating system BB10.