RealTime IT News

Taiwan The Latest in RIM's Asia Advance

UPDATED: Research in Motion (RIM) continued its Asian advance, announcing plans to unveil its popular BlackBerry e-mail device in Taiwan this summer.

RIM and Taiwan Mobile, the island's private GSM and 3G wireless provider, said in a statement that corporate customers would be able to use the BlackBerry Enterprise Server software while individuals and small businesses could use the BlackBerry Internet Service.

RIM recognizes the need to provide international roaming capability for BlackBerry subscribers, according to Ken Dulaney, analyst with Gartner.

The Taiwan agreement shares many hazards with RIM's recent pact with China.

The company faces stiff competition from China Mobile, as well as a public hesitant to try e-mail. There are few native-language BlackBerry devices and RIM enters a market with zero email penetration, according to Dulaney. SMS dominates wireless communication in Asia.

RIM has been on a progress tear of late. Last week, the company announced it would partner with Japan's NTT-DoCoMo to market the BlackBerry to corporate customers this fall.

The devices will operate in both GSM and 3G networks, according to an announcement. NTT has more than 51 million subscribers, 24 million using DoCoMo's 3G service.

In May, RIM said it would launch its BlackBerry 7100i with South Korea's carrier Powertel.

The company is defending itself against a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Visto, which sells competing software to wireless carriers, such as Sprint-Nextel and Vodafone.