MTN “BIS” – look through the hype

MTN is set to launch BlackBerry type Internet data bundles for a wide range of smartphones, starting from R25 per month.

The main difference however is that BlackBerry’s BIS essentially offers unlimited data, while MTN offer is priced for a certain data bundle.

So how is this different from current data bundles – well… isn’t. In fact, in all cases, the cost for data has increased!

MTN’s Smartphone Services will be targeted at entry-level smartphone users (this is no surprise as they are least likely to be aware of current data costs).

Current bundled options from MTN include their 2GB of data for R149 – around 7c/MB.

Smartphone Services available for purchase will include:

•Nokia Smartphone Pro Service (R49 per month) – 75MB fair use on Nokia Smartphones to access the Nokia Ovi ecosystem (Nokia Messaging, Chat, Navigation and Ovi store). Other internet usage will also deplete the fair use allowance.

•MTN Smartphone Pro Service (R49 per month) – 75MB fair use on any Smartphone for e-mail, Instant Messaging and Navigation. Other internet usage will also deplete the fair use allowance.

These 2 offers translate to 65c/MB!!

•MTN Social Networking Service (R29 per month) – 75MB fair use to access Facebook & MXit ( & on any Smartphone, any other social networks will be charged for.

•MTN Opera Mini Internet Service (R35 per month) – 75MB fair use on any Smartphone to access the internet using the MTN Branded Opera Mini browser. Customers need to ensure that they have the MTN Branded Opera Mini browser installed on their device.

These offers translate to 39c and 47c/MB respectively!

Once a user reaches the 75MB monthly usage limit on these data bundles, an overcharge will apply – probably at between R1 and R2 /MB (current out of bundle rates).

So before you leap away from your BlackBerry BIS service, look through the hype.

You’d be much better off simply buying a data bundle then going for these Smartphone Services. Now that’s smart.

Key themes for 2012 GSMA Mobile World Congress: Analyst Preview

With just four weeks to go before the big event, Mobile World Live interviewed a selection of experienced analysts – sourced from the judging panel of this year’s GSMA Global Mobile Awards. Here is what they think will be the hottest topics and themes in Barcelona, at the 2012 Mobile World Congress.

Ben Wood, Chief of Research, CCS Insight

“Thin is in!” back as a defining characteristic of mobile design (handsets, tablets, ultra books etc.).

Francisco Jeronimo, Research Manager, European Mobile Devices, IDC

“integration between the different screens……. smartphones with tablets and TVs ….”

Ken Johnstone, CEO & Founder, INQ Mobile

“debate around HTML5; how quickly it will get traction, how powerful it will be..”

Andrew Lim, Publisher,

“will shift away from hardware….to operating systems and apps”

Nuno Goncalves Pedro, Managing Partner, Kii Capital

“who are going to be the content delivery winners of the world”

David MacQueen, Director, Wireless Media Strategies, Strategy Analytics

“social and location are still very, very big”

Paolo Pescatore, Director of Operator Strategy, Application & Content, CCS Insight

“role of apps has increased in prominence…with many more developers showcasing apps”

Steve Costello, Mobile Apps Briefing

“Nokia & Microsoft…..interesting to see how that relationship has played out”