BlackBerry woos India with 9-in-1 virtual SIM card

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 17:25 IST

Instant messaging pioneer BlackBerry aims to recover lost market share among business users by launching a software that gives customers nine mobile numbers bundled into one SIM card.

The software WorkLife allows customers to differentiate usage — Whatsapp, personal, business contacts, foreign travel — and get separate bills for each of them.

For instance during foreign travel, using the virtual SIM, a user can get a local virtual connection and be billed in the local tariff rate.

“The software precisely distinguishes between work use and personal use of an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphone by introducing separate lines managed by the company,” said Sunil Lalvani, managing director, BlackBerry India.

It would be akin to a bring-your-own-device with a corporate connection. The company would pay for the work line (voice, SMS and data), while allowing employees to keep their personal line number separate.

“With the new offering, Idea Cellular will become the one stop shop for the customers for devices, data plans, and software and services,” said Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular. The company and Idea cellular recently also announced an unique solution, Enhanced SIM-Based Licensing (ESBL) in India.

BlackBerry will also offer an enhanced messenger service with more security to attract the corporate sector. “It will allow companies to interact with 25 people in one go, through video and audio,” said Lalvani.

According to research firm IDC, BlackBerry’s share hasdeclined from 8.1% in October-December 2011 to 0.4% in the last quarter of 2014.

The company is expected to launch its 4G phone ‘Leap’ with a five-inch screen, 25-hour battery. and an 8 MP camera.

“It will take us forward in the Indian market,” said Lalvani.

(With PTI inputs)

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