Back in November, we brought you need that Etisalat was the first Nigerian network to discontinue the once popular BlackBerry Internet Service. Well, we have news that Glo has followed suite and discontinued the service on their network as well. The discontinuation was effective December 17, 2015. According to the report, all Glo BlackBerry plans are no longer available for purchase or renewal from that date.
Excerpts from the statement on Glo’s website read:
Dear Customer, starting December 17, 2016 BlackBerry services on your device (BBOS7 devices) will no longer be available. You can still continue to use the device to Call and Text. We request you to migrate to a BB10, Android, Windows or iOS handset to use your remaining data.
This means that blackberry services for Blackberry OS7 & below, will cease to function. Impacted handsets i.e. Bold, Curve, Torch, Storm, Tour, Porsche will not have access to Blackberry internet services and Enterprise services. Note: All Blackberry 10 and above OS device will continue to work as normal.
Glo BIS has been a popular one among cheap data seekers in Nigeria. Its popularity was probably influenced by the fact that subscribers could tweak the IMEI of Android smartphones to use the service on those phones. As such, BlackBerry smartphones were not required to enjoy the great data value on Glo BIS.
As you can imagine, this discontinuation will be a great blow to the few Glo subscribers using that service. But they had it coming. BIS subscribers are too few to make keeping the service running profitable.
BlackBerry smartphones – and hence BlackBerry Internet Service – was once the toast of Nigerian mobile users. The BlackBerry was a status symbol and a cheap means of getting mobile internet access. As such, it met the needs of two distinct social groups – those who needed to make a statement and those who needed cheap internet access. It was no surprise that the brand became the largest smartphone brand in the country.
That age is long gone now and BlackBerry now commands a tiny share of the Nigerian smartphone market. With both Etisalat and Glo BIS now discontinued, it is only a matter of time before MTN and Airtel capitulate too and let it go.
You can get all the details about this discontinuation of BIS on Glo’s BlackBerry data plans page.