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JerryD 07-25-2007 06:28 AM

Advisory for AT&T (formerly Cingular) customers Re: "Free" OZ Instant Messaging
Recently, AT&T made an Instant Messaging client for BlackBerry users available through MediaNet. The client is OZ Instant Messaging and rather than using the BlackBerry Data Plan connection you're already paying for, it uses SMS!

SMS is NOT included in (the old) standard BlackBerry Data Plans. Text messaging is now available as part of your Data Plan at extra cost. This can be as little as $4.99 for 200 messages, or $10 for 1500 text messages, or unlimited text messages for $20 (from what I can interprut from their confusing Personal Blackberry plans page!).

Note that is is for Personal plans only. As far as I can tell, any BES connection - even a hosted BES - requires a separate messaging plan with similar rates (again, at least from what I can interprut from their sparse BlackBerry Corporate Plans page and their even more confusing and difficult to find Messaging and Media (TM) Bundles!.

To add insult to injury, the client is lame and although it can connect to Yahoo, AIM, and MSN, it can only use one network at a time!

I am not saying don't use their client, but be aware of the actual cost of the client compared to other IM clients which run as little as $19.95 for JiveTalk - an excellent client IMHO - as well as a many others listed on my Apps page.

If this doesn't intimidate you - there are those that may already have unlimited text messaging and only want one IM client - by all means, by all means use it, but be aware that because it's using SMS, your response times will be even worse than the already noticeable delay with good Data Networked IM clients.

If you're still interested in trying the client, open your WAP browser (typically called Media Net), and from the home page (which usually fails on the first try!), scroll to Mail & Messaging, then click on the Mobile IM link. (I'm not posting links because they're all based on the AT&T network with http://home as their base URL and unavailable without AT&T/Media Net's special routing).

plchan 07-25-2007 12:47 PM

TMO has OZ IM client and it uses SMS too. Lot of users did not know OZ IM used SMS as a form of communication and they got a huge bill on the SMS charge. It is one of the way to generate revenue for the wireless providers.

DaBlackberryBoy 07-25-2007 03:51 PM

A pathetic way to increase customer retention...typical.

JSanders 07-25-2007 03:59 PM

JerryD, thanks for posting that info and making it VERY CLEAR that OZ uses SMS text messaging.

goose6869 08-02-2007 03:58 PM

There's a technical reason for this...
It's probably just using the same infrasture that OZ uses for their mainstream feature phone release. Since the majority of low end devices don't have data plans, transferring this content via SMS is the most efficient way of doing this. Also, most people who have these low end feature phones that would want to use an IM application likely have unlimited texting plans, so it doesn't matter.

Good find for people not in the know, but there's a reason for it...

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