I have had an interesting relationship with LIME over the last few years; from praises to criticisms, then more criticisms, then praises… One of the prime issues I have had with LIME is their tendency to pull and discontinue potentially killer promotions and services, it is like unveiling the latest long-ranged stealth 5th generation aircraft, unnerving your opponent with it to the point of sweating, then suddenly blowing it up and reverting back to your old piston powered plane from the 1920s. This analogy holds true for the promotion held several years ago where LIME customers could literally borrow credit when in need and pay back the company at a later date. This promotion had a lot of potential, however as with most other brilliant ideas to come out of the company it simply disappeared from the airwaves, after-which a confirmation of it’s cancellation was made known to those who inquired about it. The most recent casualty of this most bizarre of practices by LIME was the Promising Portmore Sun newspaper, a publication who’s name have spread to places like St Thomas and St Ann. However despite it’s growing reader base and mindshare the company chooses to discontinue the paper even before it’s first anniversary. This sort of short sighted behavior is unnerving to those who always wish the best for LIME and did nothing to improve it’s eroded mindshare and relevance.
Two positives strikes; a sign of LIME’s return
You should take note of the word “mindshare” used in the last two sentences above. Mindshare in this context refers to how much people know, think and talk about your products and services, one prime example where low mindshare brought about problems for a major frontrunner is the struggles Nokia faced in the last four and a half years. Despite selling more smartphones than most of their competitors combined nokia was almost always seen as struggling against Apple, RIM and HTC, this view by the general public (primarily the American bloggers and people) eventually lead to the decline in Nokia’s influence to the point where the company’s sales began to fall. Nokia also suffered from infighting in it’s ranks which caused a lot of good ideas to be thrown out the door even after showing incredible promise.
LIME should try and not fall into the same pitfall as Nokia, constant changes, withdrawal of products without allowing it time to fully mature and poor service planning and implementation will only serve to un-nerve and confuse customers, which is to the detriment of the organization.
The intro aside, the first of the positive strikes mentioned is the Mobile TV service which has had phenomenal success and high feedback ratings among customers and the public in general. Today any mention of ‘TV on phone’ or ‘Mobile TV’ is immediately thought of as a reference to LIME’s product, the former mentioned phrase being previously attached to Chinese devices sporting analogue TV. This in itself is a great achievement by LIME considering the great popularity of TV-enabled Chinese phones at the time, grabbing the ‘TV’ acronym from them was instrumental in its aim to capture this small but growing media market.
The second and most current of the “two positive strikes” is the one day internet plan now being offered by the company. This particular plan drew my interest because of it’s reliability and practicality, getting unlimited 3G or EDGE (depending on your region) for 100 JMD worth of credit a day is a fantastic deal. The option available from LIME’s competitor Digicel that falls in a similar category starts at an unrealistic 700 JMD for a measly 30mb of data, the only sort of competition that LIME may get in this arena is from the 4G being offered by Digicel which on it’s own is targeted at a different stage of internet consumption and usage… or so it seems.
In my area of Linstead the only technology available through LIME’s network is EDGE which performed admirably well as I had come to expect from LIME’s EDGE network since the early part of this year. Speed in the day was limited to around 18 KB/S, slow yes when compared to broadband but good enough for browsing on mobile as well as light browsing on pc. In the nights speed can reach anywhere between 25 – 32KB/S, consistent enough for 240p youtube videos and heavier webpages, for heavier downloads however I have resorted to leaving the pc on overnight, allowing me to download well over 500mb by morning. A general cap on speed seems to come somewhere after passing that 500mb threshold, speed becomes limited to 6 – 8KB/s until the end of the plan, this however is quite reasonable as other customers have to be taken in consideration.
Through my three days of working with LIME’s internet plan I have not encountered a single issue or hiccup, everything worked as well as I expected and despite the speed limitations of EDGE I enjoyed the overall experience. As a matter of fact so impressed were my neighbours and I over the quality and affordability, that it now seems as if we can no longer go without it; persons who own DIgicel 4G modems have now put down their devices because of how well LIME’s plan is working for them. LIME seems to have finally provided lower income Jamaicans and facebook-addicted teens with an alternative to the costly blackberry and blackberry plans.
LIME in the last year have thrown two dices which seem to have both fallen on full sixes- excellently planned and implemented. The big gamble with Mobile TV paid off and it is now a phenomena in the streets and in the homes, people have been seen crowding around LIME TV enabled phones just to get a glimpse of the live football or basketball match, a sight previously seldom seen even with the popularity of analogue tv enabled Chinese devices. The 100 dollar a day internet plan seems to be going in the same direction, drawing curious customers away from a problem riddled 4G system with it’s offers of cheap and reliable browsing for just a 3rd of the price. It can be said that LIME has finally renewed itself and is coming back strong, MD Gary Sinclair, the face of Mobile TV did say that this is a new LIME, I would say: LIME in 2011 has finally learnt how to fight a modern adversary.
P.S.: LIME there is no signal in Bath, St Thomas, everyone who is looking for an alternative to Digicel is complaining. Please look into it.
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