Cingular Wireless to Sell Interactive Unit

The sale to a New York fund manager includes the Mobitex data network, host to some legacy BlackBerry devices.

Cingular Wireless LLC this week announced plans to sell its Cingular Interactive subsidiary to affliates of Cerberus Capital Management LP, a New York fund manager.

The sale includes the 10-year-old Mobitex network, which once served as the primary data pipe for Research In Motion Ltd.s BlackBerry service.

The majority of new BlackBerrys run on more modern high-speed cellular networks such as CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) 1X and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service); Cingular Wireless sells BlackBerry service that runs on GPRS/EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSMl Evolution) networks. But Cingular Interactive still serves some 25 percent of the worlds BlackBerry users, according to Cingular Interactive officials in Woodbridge, N.J.

Cingular Wireless will retain all direct e-mail customers and will continue to purchase data services from Cingular Interactive for its Mobitex-based corporate e-mail services, officials said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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