T-Mobile USA MVNO Simple Mobile unveiled new pricing plans Friday, including two new plans for Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry devices as well as data-only HSPA+ plans.
Simple Mobile, which has been operating since November 2009 as a bring-your-own device MVNO, said it will offer BlackBerry users a $50 plan that includes unlimited talk, unlimited text (domestic and international), BlackBerry Email (BIS), BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), access to the BlackBerry App World and unlimited Web browsing at HPSA speeds. The company will offer a $60 BlackBerry plan that has all of that but gives users access to T-Mobile's HSPA+ network.
Tim Garrett, Simple Mobile's senior vice president of marketing, told FierceWireless that the company's customers have been demanding BlackBerry plans but that it took a little longer for the plans to come to fruition because Simple Mobile is an MVNO. He said that less than 10 percent of the company's total subscriber base are BlackBerry users. Garrett expects that figure to climb significantly in the months ahead thanks to all of the added BlackBerry functionality the plans will offer; previously Blackberry devices did not have access to BIS, BBM and other BlackBerry services, he said.
"It's come at a time when we can be more aggressive on the pricing and really put a plan out there that is much better than our competition," he said. MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) offers an unlimited BlackBerry plan for $60 and Cricket provider Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) offers an unlimited smartphone plan for $55.
In addition to the BlackBerry plans, Simple Mobile is also rolling out a $40 plan that includes unlimited talk, unlimited domestic and international text messaging and unlimited web access at HSPA speeds. The company is still offering its $25 Unlimited 15-Day Talk & Text plan and its $60 plan with unlimited talk, texting and HSPA+ web access.
Simple Mobile will also offer two data-only HSPA+ plans for tablets and USB modems. The $25 data plan provides access up to 750 MB for a consecutive 30-day period, and the $45 data plan allows for up to 2 GB of data, also during a consecutive 30-day period. Garrett said he expects the $40 plan and the BlackBerry plans to drive growth in the months ahead but that the company wanted to provide the data plans ahead of the holiday shopping season and because tablets are becoming more popular among the firm's customer base.
Garrett said the company, which crossed the 1.5 million activations mark in June, likely will push past 2 million activations in the months ahead. He declined to speculate on how AT&T's (NYSE:T) proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile could affect the company, or how the deal will shake out given the Department of Justice's lawsuit to block the deal.
"It honestly has not affected us in any way," he said. "We're still getting a tremendous amount of support for T-Mobile. We're a bright spot for them, and we're continuing to grow."
T-Mobile lost a total of 50,000 net subscribers in the second quarter. The company reported postpaid net subscriber losses of 281,000 in the quarter and posted prepaid net subscriber additions, including MVNO customers, of 231,000.
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