So Telecommunications company LIME has announced that effective Friday June 15th, it will launch the new TALK EZ plan with an unprecedented one rate $2.99 per minute charge for on-net prepaid and international calls to the USA, Canada and UK landlines. They also added, that Lime to Lime calls will be now just $1.99 per minute and to call other networks it will be just $6.99 per minute. These call rates makes you stop and go…WHAT!? you’ve got to be kidding.
While I applaud Lime for this move, as they’ve certainly thrown down the gauntlet, you can view this move as the desperate strategy of a flailing former monopoly or a brilliant chess move of a company who’s realised the changing role of telecoms in the lives of their Digital Age consumers; a company who’s not reacting solely to its competition Digicel the lead player in the market, but more so responding to the tide of tech innovations. I think LIME is smart with the price cut at this time, as the pace of tech innovation has been and will continue to be blistering and it’s giving consumers greater choices. We all now have What’s App, Skype, Viber and other choices to call,text and msg and all can use Wifi, in addition to existing data plans. We almost take those apps and what they allow us to do for granted, it’s become normal no longer a novelty.
Number Portability Must be Next
Yet, while I am certainly one who would consider switching to LIME tomorrow, I can’t because I am still waiting on number portability, that ability for me to keep my 7 year old number and move it to any phone and network I choose. I’m hoping and expecting number portability before year end. In my mind, it’s a natural progression for a truly liberalised marketplace and I think Minister Philip Paulwell knows this. When, not if, but when this happens then we will see who really is #1 in Jamaica and even the Caribbean. With that said, maybe LIME is simply positioning themselves for number portability, by laying out the red carpet to consumers early. Hmmm.
My ideal scenario would be an iPhone ( yeah I looove my Blackberry, even as I now use the Samsung Galaxy S 11, so clearly I am somewhat platform nimble/agnostic) on a network of my choice, with low call rates, a true 4G network ( give me an Amen!) and even more affordable data plans. But I have to ask this, doesn’t these rates cuts make you curious enough to ask…if these telcos can slash and burn prices like this and remain profitable, then the profit margins before must have been damn ridiculous!! LOL. Aiy sah!
So yeah, jump for joy, switch and enjoy if you wish, but generally LIME, Digicel et al, they aren’t doing us consumers any favours, in my humble opinion by cutting rates and beating the kette drum for us to take notice, they are simply responding to these digital and innovative times. What do you think?