RIM Jazzes up Enterprise PDA Products

NEW YORK — With the spotlight trained on the wireless sector at this year’s
TechXNY/PC Expo, Research in Motion on Tuesday spelled
out long-term plans to roll out enhanced handheld technology for the
enterprise market.

The Ontario, Canada-based RIM, which is competing with the likes of
Microsoft , Palm and Handspring
for a share of the corporate market for handhelds, said
it would gussy up its wireless enterprise software to integrate voice and
data services.

The company, which rose to prominence with the BlackBerry two-way e-mail
pager, said the new product set would expand the BlackBerry brand to include
new handhelds, network standards, enterprise software, international
expansion and partnerships.

Upcoming plans include the launch of a new BlackBerry handheld For GSM/GPRS
networks, which includes a world band version. It said the
world band handheld would support wireless data and voice services operating
on GSM/GPRS networks in both North America (1900 MHz frequency) and
Europe/Asia Pacific (900 MHz frequency). The world band BlackBerry handheld
is currently expected to be available in the fall.

The company, which does the bulk of its business selling to corporations,
resellers, and wireless carriers, said it would soon be offering
multi-network support with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. RIM said the
new server offering would support multiple wireless network standards
(including Mobitex, DataTAC, GSM/GPRS, iDEN and CDMA/1xRTT), allowing
customers to support new BlackBerry handhelds without changing their
back-end infrastructure.

The enterprise handheld market has been slow to take off but, with a new
study by IDC projecting 2003 should be the year that the enterprise finally
starts buying and deploying handheld devices, RIM is using the TechXNY/PC
Expo show here to show off its preparedness.

According to IDC, IT administrators are pushing for handheld adoption to control what’s moving around their
networks, a report that sure to provide a boost to the struggling sector.

For Research in Motion, which has partnerships with wireless service
providers Cingular and Motient and deals with AT&T and IBM, the plan is to
continue plugging away at innovation to win additional business in the
corporate arena.

With co-CEO Jim Balsillie on tap to deliver a keynote address on Wednesday,
the company also announced it was developing new BlackBerry Handheld For the
iDEN Network in the United States. It said the new PDA would feature the
BlackBerry wireless email software with digital cellular, digital two-way
radio service, text and numeric paging and browser. It would also be jazzed
up with an integrated speaker/microphone, removable/rechargeable battery and
external antenna.

Based on J2ME , the new handheld will have the ability to run
a variety of business applications for the construction, financial and
manufacturing industries. It is expected to be available later this year.

The company said it would build and market a handheld for CDMA/1xRTT
networks to offer both data and voice support (e-mail, phone,
SMS, browser and organizer applications).

The company’s new products also include advanced management features For IT
departments, capabilities that would tie in feedback from customers that
have deployed wireless enterprise software. It would allow IT managers to
push software to their users’ PCs and set policies to require users to
quickly update their handheld software. The new tools would also enable IT
departments to wirelessly disable and erase all data on a BlackBerry
handheld and remotely set or change the handheld’s password.

RIM said the new IT management capabilities are expected to be supported in
BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange in the fall and
BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Lotus Domino in the winter.

In addition to support for Exchange and Lotus, RIM has built a new web-based
application called BlackBerry Web Client to allow corporate customers to
access multiple existing email accounts (including ISP accounts) from a
single handheld through the POP3 protocol and/or mail forwarding.

The company’s plans also include the rollout of a Mobile Data Service
feature of BlackBerry Enterprise Server to allow always-on/push-based access
to enterprise applications and information using the BlackBerry handheld,
browser and software development tools.

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