RealTime IT News

Nextel Connects with Walkie-Talkie BlackBerry

Hoping to target all of those elusive business-class customers, Research In Motion (RIM) Tuesday took the wraps off a BlackBerry device that includes traditional Nextel Direct Connect walkie-talkie functions.

Similar to its previously launched BlackBerry 6710, the new 6510 handheld includes 2.5G wireless functions and support for J2ME and other open standards.

The 6510 also has "thumb-typing" keyboard design, navigation trackwheel, dedicated Direct Connect button, embedded RIM wireless modem, rechargeable/removable lithium battery, internal speaker/microphone and headset jack. Both the screen and keyboard are backlit.

Toronto-based RIM said the new BlackBerry would be shipping this week from Nortel along with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server v.3.5, BlackBerry Web Client and associated services. Handheld and airtime pricing are determined by Nextel and will vary based on specific service plans.

The BlackBerry browser supports standard WML, HTML and XML based content and HTTP/HTTPS connectivity to BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

The BlackBerry Enterprise Server supports both Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino environments and uses Triple DES encryption for security. RIM said IT departments running BlackBerry Enterprise Server retain the ability to centrally control and implement policies on handhelds that prevent access to personal ISP accounts.

The company's Web Client supports ISP e-mail accounts through the POP3 protocol and appeals to customers that do not currently use Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Domino but who want a personal e-mail account in addition to their enterprise e-mail account.

RIM said its BlackBerry 6510 customers can use the BlackBerry Web Client application to select their ISP accounts, access their web mail account, configure settings, define e-mail filters and set auto signatures.

RIM said the devices would be marketed to 10.1 million (about 90 percent) of Nextel's existing business customers including its core base of market segments including government, construction, distribution, financial, professional services, real estate, field sales and service, and manufacturing.

"Nextel and RIM have both demonstrated leadership in serving business customers," said RIM president and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. "With integrated support for Nextel's popular 'walkie-talkie' feature as well as e-mail, phone, Web and organizer features, the 6510 is an exciting 2.5G wireless handheld that we expect to be very popular."