**Black Market BlackBerry Users 8 Times Bigger than Legal Ones

PT XL Axiata is endeavoring to reduce the number of black market BlackBerry units in Indonesia by offering handsets from official distributors bundled with XL plan.

“We’re trying to educate potential XL BlackBerry customers that using an official handset has more benefits than buying from a distributor that hasn’t been acknowledged by RIM (Research in Motion, BlackBerry’s principle),” stated XL Director of Commerce, Joy Wahyudi, Jakarta, Tuesday.

He also explained that to reduce the number of buyers for black market BlackBerry units is by offering the Onyx and Gemini BlackBerry variants bundled with an XL plan with 50 percent discount for the first six months since activation.

He claimed that the XL BlackBerry customers have exceeded 310,000. This figure has increased from 250,000 around the end of 2009. Meanwhile, BlackBerry Sales and XL Internet GM, Handono Warih, stated that while the number of XL BlackBerry users increase by approximately 40,000 per month, but only 5,000 units were bought directly from XL per month. This indicates that the number of users is eight times bigger compared with the number of official handsets bought.

XL has prepared a supply of 10 to 20 thousand Onyx BB handsets bundled with the promotional BlackBerry One plan, for Rp. 75,000 per month and also Gemini bundled with the Gaul (‘mingle’ -ed) plan for Rp. 25,000 per month.
“This program is expected to increase the number of customers, as targeted, to 400,000 by the end of 2010,” stated Warih. (WAH/ANT/C17-09)



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