Research In Motion (RIM) and T-Mobile International today announced that they are working together to introduce the first BlackBerry offering for professional consumers and smaller firms in Germany, the UK and Austria, with other T-Mobile markets to follow.
The BlackBerry solution for the 'prosumer' (professional consumer) market will be available through T-Mobile and will integrate RIM's latest BlackBerry handhelds, software and service with T-Mobile's advanced GSM/GPRS wireless networks and the highly successful T-Email platform that already supports 12 million subscribers.
The new offering, designed for individual purchasers who want an advanced handheld primarily for business-related use, will enable users to purchase a BlackBerry handheld through a T-Mobile retail channel and to connect easily to a T-Email or other POP3 or IMAP4 ISP email account.
Users of this solution will be able to read and respond to their email messages (including email attachments) wherever they are, with new email messages automatically 'pushed' to their handheld (no need to dial in). In addition to wireless email, the Java-based BlackBerry handhelds feature integrated phone, SMS, organizer and browser applications.
Welcoming the new agreement, Nikesh Arora, Chief Marketing Officer, T-Mobile, said, "Messaging is set to be the next big trend in mobile communications, and as part of our best of breed partnership strategy, we are working with RIM to deliver compelling services to our professional consumers. The business user is a critical market with more than 25% of the workforce now mobile, and at T-Mobile we are determined to offer a personalized experience that is secure, fast and reliable so as to increase their usability of business data communication whilst on the move."
Charles Meyer, Director and Vice President for RIM Europe, said, "BlackBerry handhelds are optimized to support both phone and data services within a slim and light design. BlackBerry customers will enjoy the convenience of a built-in, high-quality GSM phone together with an unmatched data experience enabled by key features such as the patented thumb-typing keyboard, large screen, 'push-based' architecture and email integration."
The cooperation between Research In Motion and T-Mobile International is the continuation of a partnership set up for the American market in 2002 between RIM and T-Mobile USA.
Commercial availability of the T-Mobile and BlackBerry service is anticipated for Q2, 2003. Further information will be made available at launch.