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BlackBerry Limited Message Board

  • digitalmarket digitalmarket Aug 15, 1999 10:36 PM Flag

    Paging Companies Add Features # 1 pager

    Paging Companies Add Features to Counter Rush to
    Cell Phones

    Paging Companies Add Features to
    Counter Rush to Cell Phones
    New York, Aug. 14
    (Bloomberg) -- Seven months ago, Ragu Gurumurthy ditched his
    SkyTel Communications Inc. text pager.

    The New
    York-based consultant discarded it after spending more than
    $300 a month on a wireless phone service from AT&T
    Corp. that can receive short messages.

    Still,
    after five months beep-free, Gurumurthy -- a principal
    in Booz-Allen & Hamilton's communications, media and
    technology group -- bought a new pager from Waterloo,
    Ontario- based Research in Motion Ltd. It allows him to
    type replies to his messages, a feature his old pager
    didn't have.

    Don't write the obituary for the
    pager just yet. Though the popularity of wireless
    phones is booming, paging companies think they've
    identified a promising market in people like Gurumurthy:
    high-spending business customers who yak away on cell phones,
    though they still want to be in constant contact with
    colleagues via new two-way pagers.

    These so-called
    interactive pagers can cost as much as $359 -- almost double
    the $199 cost of Motorola Inc.'s digital StarTac
    wireless phones -- and carry monthly service fees of
    $24.95 or more.

    Gurumurthy thinks the cost is
    well worth it. His device lets him respond to
    colleagues' requests unobtrusively, even during meetings.
    It's a big improvement over the old gadget. ``Just
    having a pager to receive information ... doesn't add
    that much value,'' said Gurumurthy, who logs about
    100,000 miles a year to meet with clients in Atlanta and
    Austin, Texas. If you can't reply to a page, he said
    sarcastically, ``it's as good as ignoring a
    call.''

    Analysts expect the market for interactive pagers to grow
    in step with the use of e-mail and the Internet.
    ``Carriers are looking to get into the high end of paging
    users, people who rely on messaging,'' said Phillip
    Redman, a Yankee Group analyst.

 
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