Monday, June 17, 2013
Digicel responds to LIME and introduces Six Plans with lowest rate of JA$2.49 on Friday June 14 2013 - Digicel’s new Six Plan Rates wants Your Body, Christina Aguilera Style
“We asked our customers what they wanted and the answers we got were great value, lots of choice and more freeness”
Digicel Jamaica CEO, Barry O'Brien on Friday June 14 2013 at the launch of Digicel's MTR Cut
Look like this is going to be a good Summer of 2013. First, there is the prospect of buying the DL600 smartphone a reality as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel has launched DL600 and Blackberry Q10 in Jamaica on Thursday 30th 2013 - The Purge of Features phones in a gradual ramp-up towards Data Services and smartphone in Jamaica”.
Then Telecom Provider LIME struck first with a Cross-Network and International Calling Rate drop to JA$2.99 per minute on Thursday April 6th 2013 as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME drops JA$2.99 Talk EZ to All Networks as Digicel promises something Bigger - Telecom Providers can bring The Heat via lower Priced Smartphones to spur 3G Data and Postpaid Plans”.
Now we have a Telecom War Brewing, as with 4G LTE Looms on the surface, Telecom Provider Digicel has thrown the gauntlet by lowering their prices to as low as JA$2.49 per minute via six (6) separate packages as of Friday June 14th 2013 as stated in “JUST IN: Digicel announces new call rates” published Thursday June 13, 2013 4:52 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner. The picture below best expresses what I personally think of Telecom Provider Digicel’s response
The Six Plans introduce by Telecom Provider Digicel are interesting and are catering to the varying subtleties of the Jamaican Mobile phone user, whose mobile phone habits may indeed be akin to their spending habits:
1. The Brawta Plan
2. The Gimme Five Extra Plan
3. The Double Bubble Plan
4. The $2.99 Plan (all with per second billing)
5. The $2.49 Plan; and
6. The $2.89 Sweet Plan (per minute billing)
The explanation for these plans are as per the article “Digicel unveils new plans”, published June 14 2013, The Jamaica Star. An Official listing of Digicel’s Tariffs & Rates can be seen by clicking this link. To get the services, send the following text of “223” to 137 and they’ll tell you:
1. *156*45# for the $2.99 Prepaid Plan
2. *156*45*6# to opt out of the $2.99 Prepaid Plan
3. *134# for the International Calling Plans
Again a picture saves me on writing something longer.
The Brawta, Gimme Five and Double Bubble Plan are all activated by:
1. Sending five texts
2. Topping up with $200
3. Talking for Five minutes
The Brawta and Gimme Five Plans are composed as follows:
1. 55 minutes of free talk
2. 200 texts
3. 10 MB of data with free nights
4. 55 international minutes
5. Free monthly credit
6. Cash back after talking for five minutes (cheque please!!)
The Double Bubble Plan is a per second billing Credit Doubler and once the customer makes on-Net or international calls (what!! no Cross Network offer??) for five minutes or send five texts, where the customer gets:
1. 10 minutes of talk time
2. 10 Digicel text messages
3. 25 international minutes
The last three (3) plans are the most interesting, with the JA$2.49 per minute plan being the most lucrative of all. To date, though neither Telecom Provider Digicel or Telecom Provider LIME has outed any improved Postpaid Plans, this is of concerns to older customers. No doubt they’ll be announcing these quite soon.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
LIME poised to revamp and relaunch LIME TV in the Fourth Quarter of 2013 - A Rebranding of LIME TV for Live and VOD Streaming to push 4G LTE and FTTH Services is on The To Do List
Looks like Telecom Provider LIME is getting serious about LIME TV. They’ve suspended service of LIME TV which runs using DVB-H (Digital video Broadcast - Handheld) in what appears to be a coming of age of what’s an excellent service thus far as per Geezam blogger Horace’s article entitled “LIME Jamaica Mobile TV Review”.
This will be in the form of a reboot of the service in either the Third Quarter of 2013 or the Fourth Quarter of 2013 as surmised in reading the article “LIME suspends mobile TV”, published Wednesday, June 05, 2013 BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant business co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.
That’ll be just in time for Summer or Christmas and may herald not only Live and VOD (Video on Demand steaming LIME TV like in Barbados, but may also be a precursor to LIME 3G and LIME FTTH (Fiber to the House) expansion islandwide.
This as the promised IPTV Version of LIME TV is set to come on stream in 2013 as speculated in an earlier article on the Geezam blog entitled “LIME Jamaica’s 2013AD Launch of IPTV “LIME TV” is a Streaming “TV Anywhere” Revolution”. Curiously, back then that LIME TV announcement was made in July 2012 with regards to introducing a Streaming TV version in Jamaica alongside the already successfully marked DVB-H version.
That was the last time Telecom Provider LIME had reduced their Calling Rate on the say-so of the OUR (Offices of the Utilities Regulation) on Sunday July 15th 2012AD date as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME's new TALK EZ Plan drops Cross Network Calling to JA$2.99 - Digicel's Game of Thrones vs LIME Return of the King” and my Geezam blog article entitled “LIME drops Cross Network Calling Rate to JA$6.99 to kick off a 3 year Battle for Mobile Market Dominance”.
Thus this strongly points to Telecom Provider LIME re-branding and re-launching LIME TV as an IPTV Streaming version of LIME TV similar to that in Barbados as promised in my blog article entitled “LIME launches IPTV Streaming Service LIME TV in Barbados on schedule - Lady Gaga's Bad Romance for Digital Cable and Free-to-Air Broadcaster”.
This may be by the Fourth Quarter of 2013 as the DVB-H versions were limited both in terms of available channels and mobile devices upon which the Service could be used. With smartphones now picking up steam in Jamaica, this will be the App hit for the Christmas of 2013 or the summer of 2013 on 3G Internet.
Hopefully too, it’ll boast the following improvements:
1. More channels (like duh-uh!)
2. Live streaming and VOD (Video on Demand) Streaming on smartphones and Tablets via an installable app
3. Lower Ad-subscription prices versions as well as a Pro version for people willing to pay for Mobile Cable
4. Ability to connect it to your HDTV set and watch programming on it via Wi-Fi or HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) Dongle
5. Expansion of 3G and eventually 4G LTE (long Term Evolution) islandwide
6. Expansion of LIME FTTH (Fiber to the House) Network form experimental stage to actual product
The last two on 4G LTE and LIME FTTH is a bit of a stretch, as Telecom Provider LIME mainly focuses its service in the built-up areas in Jamaica i.e. Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios where it thinks it can get premium Traffic.
Still, given the fact that LIME has been gearing up for a major build-out, as evidence by their staff cut of some 300 LIME Maintenance Engineers or which Ericsson has gobbled up 150 as speculated in my blog article entitled “LIME outsources Network Maintenance to Ericsson - The Lone Rangers in Telecoms may have to Tag Team to get a 700Mhz license for 4G LTE” indicates that 4G LTE may be actually used as a Carrier for HDTV version of LIME TV.
Ditto too LIME TV being a catalyst for Telecom Provider LIME’s expansion of LIME FTTH (Fiber to the House) Network as explained in my blog article entitled “LIME goes FTTH like Verizon's FiOS - Free ADSL after FTTH Mass Adoption”.
Thus this may be Telecom Provider LIME’s way of reducing the CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) associated with 4G LTE as stated in my blog article entitled “No bidders thus far for the 700MHz Spectrum Auction for 4G LTE - CAPEX concerns as Serious Man of Steel Investors are needed to assist Jamaica to become a more Connected Society”.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
LIME drops JA$2.99 Talk EZ to All Networks as Digicel promises something Bigger - Telecom Providers can bring The Heat via lower Priced Smartphones to spur 3G Data and Postpaid Plans
“We expect that this all-time low rate is going to give consumers who are now sitting on the fence the best incentive to come over to the new value network”
CEO Garfield Sinclair in a WebCast from LIME Headquarters in Carlton Crescent
A week has not fully passed since the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) made their announcement of a Cross-Network Rate decline from JA$5.00 per minute to JA$1.10 per minute, a JA$3.90 decline as chronicled in my blog article “OUR sets Cross-Network Rates at JA$1.10 as of Saturday July 1 2013 - Everything is Possible as we’re Zombies for Data World War Z”.
By Thursday June 6th June 2013, Telecom Provider LIME announced they’ve be dropping their rates, which they planned to announce in a big Video Stream via Facebook as stated in the article “LIME to make 'major announcement' via social media”, published Wednesday, June 05, 2013 4:21 PM, The Jamaica Observer.
Guess I was wrong, as it turned out to be just an overhyped re-launch of the Talk EZ Calling Plan as previously described in my blog article entitled “LIME's new TALK EZ Plan drops Cross Network Calling to JA$2.99 - Digicel's Game of Thrones vs LIME Return of the King” with the rate now set at JA$2.99 per minute and the added JA$1.80 being for Telecom Taxes. Prepaid rates have now fallen to JA$2.99 per minute for Prepaid via activation using *123*1# to activate, just like the previous Talk EZ Plan.
However, there are some significant differences in that this new MBR (Mobile Termination Rate) applies to all Cross-Network Calling, including International Calls, which are Cross-Network, as they terminate on Telecom Providers in another country. So that’s something interesting, as that means you can basically throw away you Magic Jack, Fring, Skype and Google Voice VoIP Calling Packages as described in my blog article entitled “Google and Google Voice - The World is Not Enough” and associated US number.
Despite still being more expensive, you can use Talk EZ on any mobile phone. It doesn’t have to be a smartphone running a VoIP App and you don’t have to go postpaid. As an additional plus, the lower pricing now means Postpaid Rates, soon to be announced by Telecom Provider LIME, will make more serious mobile phone users interested in switching to a postpaid plan.
Postpaid would be cheaper in order to take advantage of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) come May 2014 as opined in my blog article entitled “JA$2.00 Cross-Network Rates by Saturday June 1st 2013 - Design Homogenous Networks, more Contract and Postpaid Plans and avoid Voice Services Hangover Part III”
All this is now official news as reported in “LIME reduces rates to $2.99 per minute”, published Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:30 AM, The Jamaica Observer and “It's $2.99 from LIME - Telecoms company rolls out new flat calling rate ahead of competitor”, Published Friday June 7, 2013, by Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.
I personally though they’ve launching a counter-offensive to the Digicel DL600 as well as the Blackberry Q10 as per speculation in my blog article entitled “Digicel has launched DL600 and Blackberry Q10 in Jamaica on Thursday 30th 2013 - The Purge of Features phones in a gradual ramp-up towards Data Services and smartphone in Jamaica”.
Still no official word on the Digicel DL600, which seems to have launched elsewhere in the Caribbean save for Jamaica for some unknown reason., despite my prediction of the launch date being spot on as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel to launch the DL600 smartphone in Jamaica on Thursday 30th or Friday 31st of May 2013 - Digicel DL600 is coming Fast and Furious 6 to make smartphones accessible to all”.
Something tells me Telecom Provider Digicel is not too keen on shaking up its relationship with its smartphone partner Blackberry and Samsung, with whom Telecom Provider Digicel may have signed exclusive contracts to promote their smartphones exclusively. Hence the low key launch of the Blackberry Q10 as can be seen in the photo Gallery in the Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer’s Photo Gallery and only a passing mention of the DL600’s pricing on their Official Website but no Official Press Release.
Telecom Provider Digicel has promised to massive response to Telecom Provider LIME’s Talk EZ as stated in the article “Digicel promises big announcement after LIME call rate cut”, published Thursday June 6, 2013 6:06 pm by Garfield Sinclair, The Jamaica Gleaner. Over the weekend, I saw frenzied lines at both Telecom Provider Digicel and Telecom Provider LIME stores as Jamaicans seek to take advantage of the mobile phone offers.
These offers were specifically the DL600, which is currently out of stock, based on my visits downtown on Saturday 8th June 2013 with only long lines greeting me in most of the stores. Even a visit to the Digicel Headquarters proved fruitless, as the security guard had locked the doors of the store to the public, allowing only persons in who were serious about a purchase of the DL600 which was M.I.A everywhere else.
Thus technically speaking, the Digicel DL600 doesn’t exist, as there’s no official Press Release and despite sighting to the contrary, it’s not official being promoted by Digicel, at least not in Jamaica.
Telecom Provider LIME stores also had lines that were very long inside of the stores as people were interested in any phone deals available. But aside from that, the excitement was muted, as aside from the Samsung Galaxy Y, the alternative to the Digicel DL600 as much hoped for in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Samsung Galaxy Y is LIME’s sub-US$100 alternative to the Digicel DL600 smartphone”, no low cost alternatives were official on offer from Telecom Provider LIME.
I’m hoping as the summer drags on, both Telecom Providers will offer more low-budget smartphone sales, despite any contractual obligations they may have with Samsung or Blackberry. It will help to boost the smartphone adoption in Jamaica and thus increase the Telecom Provider bottom line by making more affordable low-cost smartphones like the DL600 available to the masses.