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RealTime IT News

RIM Selling the BlackBerry in Spain

Research In Motion (RIM) Wednesday said it has inked a deal to sell its BlackBerry products for the first time in Spain.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said its partnership with Telefonica Moviles Espana (TME) will allow RIM's popular business mobile gadgets to be distributed under the Oficin@ MoviStar umbrella. The devices are expected to be commercial available during the first quarter of 2003.

BlackBerry handhelds in Spain will carry TME's SIM cards and feature a built-in phone, with short text messaging and personal organizer. The overall package also includes BlackBerry Enterprise Server software, installed alongside the company e-mail system behind the corporate firewall, and desktop software for the user's PC.

RIM execs said the partnership helps "drive demand for converged voice and data services." With upwards of 18.1 million customers, Telefonica Moviles is looking more to the bottom line and said it is eager to start selling.

"With this agreement we strengthen our corporate data services portfolio based on GPRS technology under the Oficin@ MoviStar brand. We also begin a technical and commercial relationship with RIM, a leader in wireless solutions for enterprises." TME Services Development General Manager Luis Ezcurra said in a company issued statement.

The deal expands RIM's strategy to extend its reach into European markets. Spain now joins a long list of European BlackBerry users, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy. RIM has also expanded availability in recent months to Hong Kong and Australia. North America has also seen growth with recently announced devices running on CDMA2000 1X and Nextel networks (in addition to previously available GSM/GPRS devices).

The deal could help RIM also attack the fickle South American markets. Telefonica Moviles actively manages more than 33.5 million customers and claims to be a leader in the growth markets of Spain and Latin America.

BlackBerry devices support Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino corporate e-mail systems with 'always on', single-mailbox and calendar. E-mails and calendar appointments are also 'pushed' directly to and from the user's BlackBerry Wireless Handheld.