BlackBerry Tour Also Arrives on Sprint's 3G Network July 12
Research In Motion's BlackBerry Tour smartphone will arrive on the Sprint 3G network July 12, in addition to the Verizon Wireless network. The Tour, a world phone priced at $199, will operate on different wireless spectrums for each carrier, but offer customers of each access to voice and data services in hundreds of countries.
The BlackBerry Tour "world phone," scheduled
to arrive on the Verizon Wireless network July 12, will also be available
on the Sprint network starting that same day.
The Sprint version of the Tour operates on 2,100MHz UMTS/HSPA and quad-band EDGE/GSM/GPRS networks. Sprint customers will be able to make calls in more than 185 countries and access BlackBerry data services including e-mail and Web browsing in nearly 150 countries, according to Sprint.
In world phone terms, Verizon has Sprint slightly beat-offering calling in 220 countries and e-mail and Internet in 175. Pricing is similar between them, however, at $199 after rebates and a two-year contract in both cases. However, with Sprint you get an instant rebate of $50 and then have to wait for 100 of your dollars to come back to you in the mail, instead of the $70 with Verizon.
Sprint has plenty to boast about, however. According to the carrier, no one has a larger voice calling area-the Nationwide Sprint Network reaches more than 304 million people in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands-it has the most dependable 3G network, and it has more than 20 times the coverage of T-Mobile's current 3G network, based on square miles.
"Particularly compelling for world travelers will be the performance enabled by combining the new feature-rich BlackBerry Tour with Sprint's 3G network and some of the world's other most robust voice and data networks," said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product development at Sprint, in a statement.
The Tour features a high-definition display of 480 by 260 by 245 pixels per inch; a full QWERTY keyboard with trackball navigation; support for corporate and personal e-mail; the ability to view attachments; and up to 16GB of expandable memory with a microSD card.
A 3.2-megapixel camera with auto-focus and video recording is also included, along with a media player for videos and music, a 3.5mm stereo headset jack, support for Bluetooth stereo headsets, and built-in GPS.
Sprint service plans for BlackBerry begin at $40 per month, before taxes and surcharges, and additional savings may be available for business customers through a Sprint account manager.
Sprint is also the proud provider of the Palm Pre. And while some initially questioned whether that would do Palm any favors, analysts have since commended Sprint's work on the partnership.