Flat-rate provider MetroPCS Communications launched its first BlackBerry Curve 8330 smartphone from Research In Motion (RIM) with two new rate plans.
The $50 personal rate plan for use with the Curve 8330 will offer flat-rate, unlimited talk, text, Web browsing, MMS and BlackBerry e-mail access through the BlackBerry Internet Service. For an additional $10 per month, enterprise customers can receive the same unlimited plan features on BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
“That’s the lowest cost entry point that we’re aware of for BlackBerry service. Typically, operators have charged extra for BlackBerry service and e-mail,” said Walter Pyciek, analyst for Pali Research.
The BlackBerry Curve 8330 will be available for purchase in the following MetroPCS markets beginning this week: Greater Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.
A commentary from Pali Research concludes that the new MetroPCS BlackBerry plans are a good deal. “[The new MetroPCS’ $50 Unlimited plan] compares to $150 per month for industry leaders Verizon and AT&T. In fact, the cheapest rate plan for BlackBerry addicts on AT&T and Verizon networks is $70 per month, but that only includes 450 minutes and no text messaging,” states the report.
The Pali report also said that the move by MetroPCS may affect the value of data in the United States. “More importantly, Metro PCS might have further changed how users perceive wireless pricing in the United States by bundling in for free one of the few remaining services that generated incremental ARPU for wireless service providers.”
The report expressed doubt that Verizon Wireless and AT&T will have any initial response to the price plan by Metro, particularly AT&T, which is having success with its iPhone.