Du CEO says BlackBerry ban won't have big impact

UPDATE 1: UAE's second operator says it currently has around 100,000 BlackBerry customers.

BAN IMPACT: The CEO of Du said on Wednesday that he did not see the BlackBerry ban having a major impact on the business. (Getty Images)

BAN IMPACT: The CEO of Du said on Wednesday that he did not see the BlackBerry ban having a major impact on the business. (Getty Images)

The decision to ban the BlackBerry in the UAE is unlikely to affect du's business significantly, the CEO of the country's second telco said on Wednesday.

"There might be an ease, but as a generic question, I don't see a significant impact on our economics," du CEO Osman Sultan told reporters in Dubai.

"Customers are still there and customers have needs as far as email is concerned."

Sultan described the BlackBerry as one instrument in du's plan to attract high-end users to the telco.

"It's one part, the iPhone is another, as are our elite plans and our offers on roaming."

Sultan also revealed that du has "close to 100,000" BlackBerry customers in the UAE, which would give it around twenty percent of the country's consumer base.

The du CEO was speaking at a press conference to explain the alternative packages that the firm will make available to its BlackBerry subscribers should the Telecommmunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)'s planned suspension go ahead on October 11.

Individual customers will be provided with a standard assurance plan, involving the current unlimted data fee, plus 1,000 free SMSs a month. International BlackBerry customers will receive an extra 20MB of data usage.

Customers opting for a yearly contract have two other options; they can either opt to pay less for unlimited local and international data bundles, or they can pay the same amount and receive either free or discounted smartphones. Customers will be able to select those options from 1 September.
 
Business customers on the unlimited local plan have three options, including the option for a smartphone voucher is they choose a plan over AED140 a month.

There are similar plans available for international unlimited data customers.

Sultan confirmed that if the planned suspension was rescinded prior to October 11, these new arrangements would be removed.

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Posted by: sheikh hassan

"... our economic" won't get affected? Yeah, right... and where do the learn such terms "economics"... Amateur "CEOs" who think they can get away pretending they know how to run companies by usine a few words they picked up from some of the management consultants they pay very big bucks to. They pay big bucks to produce meaningless marketing babble like Bring Life to Life... Oh dear.

Posted by: disturbed of dubai

issue is customer service and unfortunately this is non existent in this case so no reason to be surprised by such comments. Customer needs comes last as usual...

Posted by: Mike Alrif

As usual, instead of using opportunities like this to assure customers, or to actually agree to enter into negotiations with the government and RIM to potentially resolve the difficulties, to reach a compromise on behalf of BB customers and current and future business - instead of this, we get a announcement of supreme arrogance. I guess we shouldn't have expected anything less. Dubai's own police chief himself said not one month ago, that perhaps there were those who were very arrogant before during the boom years, and he hoped attitudes would change given the sobering effects of the recession. But once again arrogance reigns supreme! What would have been better, is article, to say the ban was unexpected and unprecedented. This will affect business and upset customers, the goal of DU is to assist the govt to resolve the issues so that no ban in fact takes place. But that would have been too harsh on the ego.

Posted by: Sayeed

Du main market is Labour category, So Du won't get affected if BB is there or not, I doubt Du is having 100,000 BB customers????

Posted by: Mulham

I think that the words of the CEO are inaccurate, for a very simple reason. If we say that 100,000 customers won't affect, then look at it this way: 100,000 X 135 (the minimum fee for bb service) = 13,500,000 AED per month (minimum) maybe this wont affect the company in the beginning few months, but later on when people start canceling their bb subscriptions, then I would like to see what the CEO might comment. and what a refund is this? 1,000 sms, or 20 MB extra? they should post this on Today's Joke.

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