It may not be long before BlackBerry users see a reduce or even a removal of carrier fees to use their BlackBerry device. Documents obtained by the New York Times suggest that RIM under pressure, may have to greatly reduce or even remove the infrastructure access fees that it charges carries. This may a leap of excitement for most BlackBerry users, but to RIM it is no leap of joy. Infrastructure access fees account for a large portion of income for RIM and reducing that net income will only add to its current financial concerns.
These documents that support this claim are actually part of an annual filling to the United States Security and Exchange Commission. In section titled "Risks Related to the Company’s Business and its Industry", RIM states that because of its competitors ability to cover their infrastructure costs in alternate manners " the company is facing greater pressure to reduce its infrastructure access fees."
In addition to the competition, another contributing factor to reducing the infrastructure access fees may be RIM's next generation superphone. RIM stated that concerns with new products (BB 10) not utilizing the network infrastructure in the same way its traditional devices do could also affect infrastructure access fees. The full statement by RIM says that " the infrastructure access fees charged by the Company may also fall under pressure if the new products it launches do not utilize the network infrastructure in the same way or to the same extent as the Company’s existing products."
This could mean that the BlackBerry 10 devices may not require an additional fee to access the BlackBerry network. However, what would this mean for BBM? RIM's new BB 10 devices are set to be released in the latter half of this year, and will be based on the QNX based OS that the current PlayBook runs. Even now RIM is struggling with adding BBM to its QNX platform, and it could prove to be an issue with BB 10 devices.
The infrastructure access fees are great for the consumer, but now it seems as though RIM has another issue to worry about; getting BB 10 to seamlessly integrate with its network infrastructure and be able to run BBM. We saw this issue come up with the initial release of the PlayBook and to date the only way to affectively integrate the PlayBook with any network is through costly software and some hefty upgrades. In addition BBM is still not available on the PlayBook.