The Globe and Mail: Rogers set to challenge BlackBerry

“Rogers Communications Inc., the nation’s largest wireless company, plans to launch its own branded mobile e-mail service this week that will compete with Research In Motion Ltd.’s popular BlackBerry service.”

The move is part of a growing effort by carriers to sign up more customers for lucrative wireless data plans and to keep more of the proceeds for themselves rather than sharing them with RIM.

Rogers already sells a variety of voice and data subscriptions on BlackBerry devices, charging about $60 a month, depending on the plan.

The new Rogers service, called MyMail, uses software from California-based Visto Corp. that performs in a similar manner to RIM’s leading BlackBerry software for corporate customers.

But the Visto platform connects to a much greater variety of devices than RIM’s and offers higher profit margins to carriers. (Analysts estimate that, on average, carriers are paying about $10 of the monthly fees they collect from subscribers to RIM)…

…Where BlackBerry users may spend $60 a month or more to tap out e-mails on the road, software firms competing in the space like Seven Networks Inc. think they can cut that figure in half…

Read the whole article here : The Globe and Mail: Rogers set to challenge BlackBerry

I’ve been following the discussions around the RIM business model for quite some time now. RIM is without a doubt the most succesful wireless email provider, but for how long ? Recently Gartner Group already questioned RIM’s role (see my earlier post).

RIM makes a lot of money on their handsets, but now HP is introducing the 6500 series which come very close to the o so desired BlackBerry. RIM also takes quite a large percentage of the monthly subscription fee for their services. This leaves very limited margin for the mobile operators to compete. In The Netherlands for example 4 out of 5 mobile operators offer BlackBerry, meaning it is an absolute ‘me too’ proposition. I really wonder what will happen once services like Rogers Communications is offering in combination with new devices like HP is releasing become more broadly available. It will definitly force Mobile operators to compete and this will put pressure on RIM through a reduction in handset sales and pressure on their cut of the monthly subscription.

I found this article through Michael Sampson’s Shared Spaces Briefing.