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By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2002-10-15 Print this article Print

: Balsillie: Demand for Wireless Rising"> Balsillie said RIM will continue to support Mobitex but sees GPRS and CDMA1x, (next-generation code division multiple access) networks as the future because many carriers support them. "If youre going to solve an enterprises problem its pretty multi-faceted," he said. "Were trying to be a global provider."
Within the next thirty days, there should be RIM devices shipping that support additional networks beyond GPRS. Sources say Verizon Wireless Inc. will offer one that supports CDMA1x. Also in the works in that time frame is a long-awaited 6510 device that supports Nextel Communications Inc.s iDen network and works as an e-mail pager, phone and walkie-talkie.
While analysts have questioned the viability of next-generation wireless networks and the carriers ability to offer decent services in light of spectrum woes, Balsillie said that the majority of GPRS and CDMA1x carriers are fully equipped to run voice and data services for the BlackBerry. Balsillie also demonstrated to eWEEK a prototype of a tri-band BlackBerry device with a color screen, which AT&T Wireless may offer as soon as the beginning of next year. To further support a global market, RIM is working on support for Asian character fonts, Balsillie said. RIM also plans to announce this week that two major device manufacturers plan to build products based on RIMs hardware design for the 5810, which the company began licensing in April. On the server side, RIM is in beta trials with a version of its BlackBerry Server that enables users to view e-mail attachments. This should be officially available by December, Balsillie said. "Number one is [users] want this 2.5G stuff. Number two is they want their choice of a bunch of carriers or transports. Number three is the standards. Number four, they want devices that work all over the world," he said. (Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to add additional reporting from Balsillies keynote address.)


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