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New GPRS BlackBerries for Cingular

Posted on Thursday 26 February 2004

Cingular and RIM announced two new tri-band GPRS BlackBerries yesterday, one which features a monochrome screen and the other sporting color. The two devices, which operate in 850, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands, fill one hole in Cingular’s GPRS strategy: they have unique spectrum needs since their network is agglomerated from several predecessors – BellSouth PCS, BellSouth Cellular, and SBC. (AT&T Wireless’ spectrum is all in 1900MHz, by the way.)

Now that Cingular has GPRS devices which will work whereever it has coverage the company can more carefully manage the migration of its BlackBerry customers who want an integrated voice and data device. However, Cingular still has not fully rolled out its GSM/GPRS network, so Mobitex remains Cingular’s BlackBerry network in more than one metropolitan area.

And there is also good news on the horizon for those BlackBerry customers for whom integrated voice is not an issue: new Mobitex BlackBerries are coming. RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis let the cat out of the bag earlier this month that new handhelds are under development.

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