Research In Motion
(RIM) said users of new
BlackBerry devices available from Verizon
voice and data service outside the U.S. starting May 14.
The BlackBerry 8830 World Edition smartphone and Global BlackBerry service,
both available from Verizon, will allow customers to place and receive voice
calls from more than 150 countries, as well as send and receive e-mail in more than 60 countries.
The device will come equipped with both CDMA
for domestic use and GSM technology for international use. GSM is the de
facto wireless standard for most of Europe and Asia, with the exception
of Japan and South Korea.
It also comes equipped with GPRS
Verizon adds globe-trotting feature to RIM partnership.
The 8830 includes new functionality and features that RIM introduced
with the 8800, including Trackball navigation to replace the track wheel and
a 14 millimeter form factor. Speaker-independent voice recognition is also
included, which means that customers don’t have to spend time “training” the
device to learn their particular vocal inflections or accents.
Mike Lanman, vice president and chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless,
said the package will set a new standard for global wireless service,
particularly among multinational companies. “We expect this device to
quickly become our top-selling BlackBerry for domestic use, as well,” he said
in a statement.
The deal gives Verizon a competitive edge against AT&T
which offers international support for the Palm
While a small subset of the world’s population travel internationally,
BlackBerry users represent a more significant proportion of potential
According to Avi Greengart, principal analyst for mobile devices
at Current Analysis, multinational companies have a highly mobile workforce,
and supporting a variety of smartphones to suit different needs in the
enterprise is a headache for IT managers.
You might be supporting 200 users and only 10 of them travel
internationally. But if you can standardize on one thing that will work well
for everybody, that’s a huge burden that’s been removed,” he told
Greengart said that asking customers to understand the network topographies
of different countries and making arrangements accordingly is a challenge
that influences IT buying decisions.
“Companies have gone to AT&T rather than Verizon because of this issue,” he
The smartphone will sell for $299.99 after a $100 rebate with a two-year
customer agreement; monthly access plans will range from $49.99 to $69.99. The relatively low price point means that IT departments can upgrade
all current BlackBerry users to the 8830, including those who don’t travel