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T-Mobile's Danger Money

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
9/20/2002

T-Mobile U.S. will bust by a mile the $100 a month all-the-data-you-can-eat barrier in the U.S. with its expected October launch of the Danger Inc. HipTop device (see Biff! Bang! Pow! It's Danger!), according to a research note from RBC Capital Markets.

The Danger device, which T-Mobile is calling Sidekick, will be offered with a $40 per month plan that includes unlimited data usage -- email, Web surfing, and messaging -- as well as a fairly generous allocation of voice minutes. At the moment, unlimited usage data-only packages from carriers such as Verizon Wireless cost $100 a month.

It's not so surprising that T-Mobile is the first to offer this kind of package, as the HipTop is aimed at a much younger end of the market than some other smartphones, such as Handspring Inc.'s Treo, most of which are targeted at the business user.

However, the combination of the monthly price and the $200 HipTop/Sidekick could find fans beyond its core market, according to Jonathan Atkin, senior analyst of telecom Services at RBC.

"While the initial marketing efforts for Sidekick appear aimed at the 18-25 segment, we believe its email, calendar, and other service features make it potentially as suitable to businesspeople as the Handspring Treo and other higher-priced devices," he writes in the research note.

Aitkin says that, while the $40 a month plan is likely to drive "significant adoption" for T-Mobile, it could also provoke a price war as rival carriers adopt similar pricing plans, all of which could lead to reduced average revenue per user (ARPU) figures across the board.

Frankly, Unstrung thinks that's going to be the trade-off if carriers want to bring wireless data services to a mass market. With $500-plus devices and $100 data-only monthly plans, they'll have a few users bringing in a high ARPU. With $200 devices and $40 plans, they'll have lower ARPUs but, hopefully, many more subscribers.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
http://www.unstrung.com

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1nov1983
1nov1983
12/5/2012 | 3:28:46 AM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
one user's opinion ob Rogers Blackberry
----------------------------------------

A couple of months ago I got me a new v300 Motorola cell phone. It was a nice little gadget, which provided sufficient, though limited, web browsing functionality, as well as excellent voice quality.

I signed up for the $10, minimal data package and life seemed to be perfect.

But as usual, mysterious are the ways of destiny.

Last week a colleague of mine was heading to Africa. Wishing to make sure he would be able to keep in touch with the office, we sent our admin to the nearest Rogers store.

She returned with a BlackBerry 7290 which the guy seemed to dislike from the very first moment.

That was when it all started.


I donG«÷t know what was it that had gotten into me, but noticing his long face, I did the dumbest thing IG«÷ve ever done, and offered him to swap phones. I guess I couldnG«÷t resist the G«£e-mail, phone, SMS, organizer, web and corporate data applications in a single handheldG«• appeal.

All excited, I called the Rogers call center and joyfully broke the news to them of the new avenue in life I was pursuing.

The transaction was smooth and swift, and even the new price plan (40$ a month for 1 megabyte) was not something that could stand between my and the promised data-land.

All energized I started my life as a proud blackberry owner by launching the web browser, and keyed in the G«£Outlook web AccessG«• address for our exchange server.

The status bar was climbing cheerfully, and after a couple of seconds, I got the G«£call your ISPG«• message.

I was thinking, G«£OK, the Rogers folks are nice people. LetG«÷s give them a call.G«•

G«£Hmm, is it an HTTPS address youG«÷re trying to access? Try the WAP browser,G«• was the support womanG«÷s advice.

OK, I know the WAP browser usually works with WAP application, but the Rogers woman sounded so confident.

I launched the WAP browser, and true, this time the friendly G«£call your ISPG«• advice did not appear. Instead I got the unencouraging G«£end of pageG«• message.

G«£Very interestingG«•, I think to myself, while re-dialing the Rogers call center.

G«£You are right,G«• said the male voice on the other end of the line. G«£The WAP browser works only with the WAP application. Your problem is that the standard browser does not yet support the HTTPS protocolG«•.

OK, the lean and mean booklet mentions something about G«£mail integrationG«•.

G«£No problemG«• says the tech-support guy. G«£You either install blackberryG«÷s enterprise server or desktop integration.G«•

Realizing that the BB server might be somewhat of a challenge (a $5000 one user license bargain) I decide to give the desktop alternative a chance.

Ring, ring, I call the call center again, and the operator tells me, G«£If you register with the Rogers BlackBerry Network, all emails will be automatically forwarded to your BlackBerry device.G«•

I ask the operator, G«£Are the kb it takes up part of the one mb I received with my original plan?G«•

And the operator said, G«£Yes.G«•

G«£And what happens if I consume the one mb?G«•

G«•You either pay for the additional kb or sign up for a $60 unlimited planG«• (remember, I started of with that $10 plan on my G«£midgetG«• MotorolaG«•

G«£And what if I donG«÷t want all my emails automatically forwarded to my BlackBerry? What if I want to exercise my own intelligence and select by myself which emails I open up?G«•

G«£No problem,G«• was the operatorG«÷s reply, and we ended our conversation.

I thought to myself, G«£Great, IG«÷ll integrate my gmail account onto my BlackBerry as well!G«•

I launch the browser application and attempt unsuccessfully to log into my gmail account. The mysterious G«£Call Your ISPG«• advice pops up again. So I call the call centerG«™again.

This time a lady tells me G«£write www.gmail.com, instead of just gmail.comG«•

I donG«÷t think you need to be explained that this was a fruitless attempt.

By this point IG«÷m really started to feel that frustration. This time I call the call center and tell them furiously, G«£Cancel the BlackBerry data price plan!G«•

And so my BlackBerry data package was cancelled, and so I was stuck with a bulky, useless, good-for-nothing, lousy sound quality piece of plastic.

G«£At least,G«• I was thinking, G«£IG«÷ll be able to do some basic browsing using the standard GPRS serviceG«• (5-ů per kb). But you can guess what message popped up.


Final verdict, hideous,big & bulky,hard to set up,terrible support, I keep accidentally hitting the 'disconnect' button while trying to answer incoming calls.

Both the Blackberry and Rogers site were awful - no help.

This device also has worse reception than my Motorola.

There is no support at all, once you buy it, you are on your own. Manual is terrible, online help terrible too.

The Rogers tech support team didn't seem to know what they were doing.

Nice try Blackberry, but so far, a huge disappointment.


If you arenG«÷t a heavy e-mail user stay away. Avoid the frustration and extremely expensive service.

Most users IG«÷ve noted are: heavy email users, donG«÷t use it as a phone, donG«÷t have to pay the outrages monthly fees (i.e. they are corporate users).

IG«÷m just a humble cost-conscious casual user, I hate to be robbed and I demand quality tech support.

This apparently was not the case.



For alternatives, read the recent Businessweek article: When a BlackBerry Is Overkill
http://www.businessweek.com/te...
1nov1983
1nov1983
12/5/2012 | 3:27:38 AM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
go to:
http://www.pdastreet.com/forum...
to read part two of the Rogers Blackbery saga
1nov1983
1nov1983
12/5/2012 | 3:27:37 AM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
-------------------------------
January 20 2005 : The Riddle
--------------------------------

Today I got the following riddle from Rogers

Dear Meir,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We especially appreciate your use of our Online Customer Service.

As our intention is to always improve the level of service we provide, we would like to thank-you for the documentation
of the events that have transpired during your contact with our company. By reviewing your email and the details of your
account we hope that we can identify areas for future improvement.

We understand you are a cost-conscious casual user, however accessing your office emails through your blackberry
device is not considered casual use, but rather an essential business requirement. And as such, our data plans are geared
towards the business user.

If you wish to subscribe to a simple Navigate package (starting at $3), you can also subscribe to the Wireless Desktop package, at $10 monthly.
This would give you Access to Microsoft Outlook using Exchange or Lotus Notes office, receive alerts immediately when you receive e-mail to
your office or personal inbox, and other features.

For more information on Rogers Wireless Desktop, you can visit us at:


<http: ...es="" business="" wirelessdesk<br="" www.shoprogers.com="">top/overview.asp>

If you are currently unable to access regular WAP access, you can try
adding these following settings to a websession configuration file on
your blackberry:

Primary IP: 208.200.067.150
Primary Port: 9203
Secondary IP: 208.200.067.151
Secondary Port: 9201
APN: goam.com
Username: wapuser1
Password: wap
HomePage: http://mymobilehomepage.rogers...

For future reference with respect to this e-mail, please quote
reference
number 4532941.

Regards,

Management Referral
http://www.rogers.com


Need I tell you that this is complete rubbish, there is NO configuration file on the Blackberry


----------------------------------------
January 24, 2005 - Good Will Hunting
----------------------------------------

Today I was finally contacted by a Rogers sr. tech support person.
It seems that the response I got (which one of you guys claimed to be G«£coherentG«•) is rubbish.
Right now I MUST have a Blackberry package in order to access their Wireless Desktop service (otherwise available to ALL Rogers GSM phones)
A technical solution DOES NOT exist, so they are trying to figure out a creative pricing offer

I do have a data package, it's a standard $7 plan that gives me 1MB on the Rogers GPRS network.
This packages allows me to use the V300 micro-browser to access the Rogers Wireless Desktop (a WAP based email service).
Access to RWD is thru the RWD APN (goan.com).
The Blackberry network has a different APN (blackberry.net) and it's only thru this APN that I can access the Rogers data services.
Thus I'm forced by Rogers to purchase a BB package ($45) .
I can not update the Host Routing Table in the Blackberry (it can only be viewd).
This is my last email to them.


------------------------------------------------
January 25, 2005, Some math
------------------------------------------------
I recieve an email offering me a "financial alternative" trying to convince me that switching to the blackberry
voice/data pacakge is "harmless".

My math is somewhat different

So, to have access to the Wireless desktop, I MUST purchase a Blackberry price plan.O.K. lets recalculate the fine.

Current plan: Line1 - $65, Line 2 -$20

This gives me 500 shared minutes + 2500 calling circle minutes + free evenings and weekends.
I can add to that a $7 data feature that will get me 1MB.
Total: $92


To have a similar service with my blackberry, the nearest equivalent will be:
Line 1 - $45 for 350 minutes
Line 2 - $60.00 for 1.0 MB / 200 anytime minutes
This gives me additional 50 minutes (worth $12.5 a month based on 25 cents a minute)
On the other hand side, IG«÷m loosing the free evenings, weekends and calling circle (lets just assume that they sum up to 100 minutes = $25).
A minimal net lose a month of $12.5 (frankly, it's much more)

Bottom line: Rogers' advise is to switch from a $92 plan a month to a $117.5 plan (105+12.5).
Which means that to preserve the same level of service I have to pay Rogers additional $25.5 a month ($350 a
year including taxes).

(based on my usage profile that you quote, I'll probably loose $500 a year)

--------------------------------------
January 30, 2005 - A brief Summary
--------------------------------------

I do have a data package, it's a standard $7 plan that gives me 1MB on the Rogers GPRS network.
This packages allows me to use the V300 micro-browser to access the Rogers Wireless Desktop (a WAP based email service).
Access to RWD is thru the RWD APN (goan.com).
The Blackberry network has a different APN (blackberry.net) and it's only thru this APN that I can access the Rogers data services.
Thus I'm forced by Rogers to purchase a BB package ($45) .
I can not update the Host Routing Table in the Blackberry (it can only be viewd).
This is my last email to them.

I canceled my $7 data plan.

-----------------------------------------
January 30 2005 - Another futile attemp
-----------------------------------------

The Rogers reps don't have a clue what they selling.
I called the call center and signed up for a $7 data plan. The rep was certain that this will work on my BB...
So now I pay $7 for a service that does not work...

Can I file a complaint with CRTC ?

---------------------------------------------------
February 1, 2005 - light at the end of the channel?
---------------------------------------------------

Another call from Rogers, no solution, except for switching to another device.
They offer me to visit a Rogers store and check out the Treo 600.
The rep promisses me to call me the other day (Feb. 2) after I visit the store.
Am I dreaming ?

I must have dreamt, they never call back I'm starting to count thedays.

Feb. 5, the "No Call" counter is set to 5.
</http:>
doritalon
doritalon
12/5/2012 | 1:02:58 AM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
There is a new product offered by AT&T wireless or now its Cingular. It's called ogo and from what. It seems to be have excellent value for the price $99 after rebate of $30, I recently made a purchase, and use it for work. Does anyone have experience with this product? I'll appriciate any comments.
shayomc
shayomc
12/4/2012 | 9:43:59 PM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
The Danger data is tied to a device. Its hard to chew up megabytes of data when all you're doing is accessing text based email and IM services. There will be some media services also but these are accessed through the Danger gateway. This ain't open access like Verizon's $100 per month plan. $40 doesn't sound too low if you figure that the average user will chew up a lot less than 3 Megs per month.
lrmobile_jbyrne
lrmobile_jbyrne
12/4/2012 | 9:43:58 PM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
Nextel has an all you can use data service called packet stream gold for $55 per month. It is claimed to be equivalent to a dialup 56k modem through the use of hardware based compression chips on both ends of the service. The link below will take you to their description of the service.


http://www.nextel.com/services...
sinhanglai
sinhanglai
12/4/2012 | 9:43:56 PM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
Thank you for scooping everyone on the future pricing plan of the Sidekick product/service. Two days ago, USA Today had a review of the product and all I could think about was "what's the pricing plan?"

From all accounts, the Sidekick is a halfway decent device. And I have to admit, when I saw the chart you included in the article, I was really pleasantly surprised. Personally, I am a T-Mobile sub paying #39.99/month for 600 whenever minutes + 2000 txt msgs ... I can completely see myself converting to the Sidekick.

There will be people who will knock the Sidekick for being monochrome, but I will point out that the original Gameboy has been the most successful gaming platform sold in the 1990's (even beating Playstation). And that's monochrome. And most people are used to monochromed phones anyway.

The key will be user experience + the amount of effort T-Mobile decides to put into marketing the product/service. I remember not too long ago, VoiceStream was selling this cute blue-ish Motorola text pager (the V200?) that also has voice capability. And then nothing much happened to it.

I think the Christmas shopping season will be vital.
sinhanglai
sinhanglai
12/4/2012 | 9:43:56 PM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
I think you figured out the concept of "arbitrage".
lrmobile_MaxQoS
lrmobile_MaxQoS
12/4/2012 | 9:43:10 PM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
Isn't this thing basically just a souped up Blackberry? I have "unlimited" access to the Cingular network for my Blackberry but, as another poster said, good luck getting much more than a few MB/s month.

The high data pricing most carriers have is to protect their networks which couldn't support widespread wireless data adoption. It seems to me that T-mobile's network doesn't need to be protected from the HipTop.

Cheers
CMS213
CMS213
12/4/2012 | 9:42:51 PM
re: T-Mobile's Danger Money
Scooped???? Walt Mossberg featured the Sidekick and T-Mobile's pricing plan in early August (8th or 9th, I believe) in his column in the Wall St. Journal. He liked it quite a bit and now the rest of the journalists are coming around.
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