RIM Offers More Flavors of BlackBerry

Research in Motion at PC Expo promised new hardware, software and services for the company's BlackBerry platform.

NEW YORK--Research in Motion Ltd. this week at the TechXNY trade show here promised new hardware, software and services for the companys BlackBerry platform for wireless corporate e-mail access, which will roll out throughout the year.

Building on its line of pagers with voice support, the Waterloo, Ontario, company displayed a world band version of its handheld pager that supports GSM/GPRS networks in both the 900 and 1900 frequency bands, meaning they will work in both Europe/Asia Pacific and in North America. The new pager also will include a rechargeable battery, officials said. It is due this fall.

In addition, the company is developing BlackBerry handhelds for CDMA/1xRTT third-generation wireless networks, officials said. It is due by the end of the year.

RIM also talked about the BlackBerry Handheld For iDEN, which will operate on Nextels walkie-talkie-like network in the United States, featuring digital two-way radio service and an external antenna in addition to the usual text paging features of a RIM BlackBerry device. It also is due by the end of the year.

On the back end, the RIM BlackBerry Server will support the additional networks as well, officials said, and current customers will be able to support additional networks without having to change their back-end infrastructure. The company also is adding throughout the year additional management features for IT administrators, including the ability to push software to their users PCs and the ability to wirelessly erase data or change passwords on BlackBerry devices, should those devices fall into the wrong hands.

In other RIM news, IBM this week formed a deal with wireless service provider GoAmerica Inc. to resell BlackBerry devices with a service agreement through GoAmerica, IBM officials said.

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