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Blackberry announces free voice calling in a bid to win back young customers

In addition to free Blackberry messaging already enjoyed across the globe, Blackberry have amped up their offering with free voice calls between BBM users.

I was shocked to discover recently that my twelve year old nephew was the proud owner of a Blackberry Bold.  It is not only a newer handset than the one I own, which causes me some shame, but it seemed quite a sophisticated choice for someone who has only just started using deodorant.  As it happens, his mother decided that would be the best way for them to communicate seeing as BBM messaging is free and he would always be able to contact her should he need to.

BBM has always been one of the best reasons to opt for the device and it seems Blackberry makers RIM have been forced to pull another rabbit out of their flailing hat in order to maintain relevancy in the entertainment-focused and application-heavy world dominated by Apple smartphones.  Although they’ve conceded that their business should focus on business, which has been their strong point, free calls for Blackberry users go a long way to helping the company compete with Microsoft’s Skype and Google Talk.  The new service means that free BBM’s can be enjoyed alongside free calls through WiFi between users, everywhere in the world.  Conversations can begin via BBM and be continued on BBM Voice call, with a split-screen feature that allows customers to talk and text concurrently.  The corporate arena, that has seemed to favour Blackberry, will surely appreciate calls to colleagues and associates at no cost to their company.  Personal users already using BBM’s will also be delighted at the prospect of cutting costs and hopefully this new addition will boost sales for RIM and increase users across the network.  If my nephew is anything to go by, RIM could win back some of the younger customers swayed by Apple.

The update will be free for BB6 users and available on BBM Version 7 smartphones running BB6 OS or higher on www.Blackberry.com/betazone.

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