Friday, September 21, 2007

BlackBerry 8820 Smartphone with Wi-Fi Support debuts on AT&T

The BlackBerry 8820 bundled with AT&T is available right away. Launched in mid-July, the BlackBerry 8820 is the very first BlackBerry to include Wi-Fi Support (802.11 a/b/g).

A more developed sibling of the BlackBerry 8800, the 8820 smartphone is the thinnest device in RIM’s current range of smartphones. It features a full and highly tactile QWERTY keyboard (also available in AZERTY and QWERTZ configurations to support different language groups), large and bright display (320 x 240), user-friendly trackball navigation system and voice and data functionality. In addition, the smartphone also incorporates built-in GPS (Global Positioning System), RIM’s latest media player improvements, a microSD / microSDHC (microSD High Capacity) expandable memory slot that can support current and future generations of microSD memory cards up to 32GB.

The 8820 will be priced at $299, post rebate and includes a two-year contract from AT&T. The carrier offers data services abroad in 135 countries, beginning at $65 a month for unlimited overseas e-mail access, along with a voice contract. If the user just wants connectivity within the US, then personal e-mail and Web browsing start at $30 a month with a voice contract, or $45 a month for unlimited corporate e-mail access through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server from Research In Motion Ltd.

Furthermore, AT&T’s version of the BlackBerry also supports AT&T Mobile Music. According to RIM, voice-over-Wi-Fi calls will be offered at the discretion of the carrier, while AT&T says that the Wi-Fi capabilities on the 8820 are “data only” at this time. The smartphone supports up to ten e-mail accounts, including POP3, IMAP, and Web-based e-mail, while corporate e-mail access is available through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

“The new BlackBerry 8820 builds on AT&T’s leading domestic and international coverage footprint by giving customers the ability to link with their company’s wireless campus network or access e-mail and browse the Web at Wi-Fi hot spots even in the few countries in which we do not have data roaming agreements,” maintained Jeff Bradley, senior vice president- Marketing and Operations for AT&T’s wireless unit. “That makes the BlackBerry 8820 from AT&T an exceptional world phone for global use by business customers and individuals alike.”

Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at RIM said, “The BlackBerry 8820 builds upon the sleek and performance-driven BlackBerry 8800 that has been embraced by business professionals around the world.” Adding, “This powerful new model has been eagerly anticipated by the market, and we are very pleased to be working with AT&T to launch the first cellular and Wi-Fi BlackBerry handset for customers in the U.S.”

The BlackBerry 8820 combines EDGE/GPRS/GSM cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity for data access and voice support via UMA (unlicensed mobile access) for fixed mobile convergence (FMC).


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