Today, Sprint announced that it would start selling the RIM BlackBerry 8830 worldphone next month. If you recall, this is the BlackBerry that has both a CDMA radio for domestic calling and EV-DO data, and a SIM slot for GSM service—and the sluggier GPRS data—abroad. The difference between Sprint's 8830 and the one Verizon launched last month is that Sprint has unlocked the GSM SIM slot, so you can choose an international carrier, or even pick up a prepaid SIM once you get where you're going.
Sprint doesn't just leave you hanging, though: It will offer an unlimited BlackBerry email and Web access in the US, Canada and Mexico on CDMA, and GSM/GPRS carriers abroad where Sprint has applicable roaming agreements. You'll still have to pay for your international calls with this plan; Sprint says that could be anywhere from 59 cents per minute to $4.99 per minute. Now there's a pretty good reason to stick with instant messaging (AIM is included).
TRAVELERS GET THE POWER OF CHOICE AND FLEXIBILITY FOR STAYING CONNECTED IN THE U.S. AND ABROAD WITH NEWEST BLACKBERRY SMARTPHONE FROM SPRINT
Unlocked SIM card smartphone gives Sprint customers the choice of using Sprint international roaming service plans or utilizing local providers in international markets
RESTON, Va. June 28, 2007 - Customers needing flexible, cost-effective options for staying connected in the U.S. and abroad need look no further than the BlackBerry® 8830 World Edition smartphone to be available from Sprint (NYSE:S) next month. This smart device, developed by Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM), is the first BlackBerry smartphone with international voice and data roaming capabilities offered by Sprint and will feature unlocked SIM capabilities for voice and data services.
"Sprint is making the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition smartphone available with flexible, convenient options designed to appeal to international travelers, especially those customers who may have a significant number of employees working internationally," said Danny Bowman, vice president of customer equipment for Sprint. "By offering the BlackBerry 8830 with an unlocked SIM capability customers can sign up for competitive international service plans directly from Sprint or take advantage of service from local providers in other countries."
"The BlackBerry 8830 World Edition delivers world-class communications, multimedia and GPS features together with the intuitive BlackBerry smartphone experience that users have come to expect, all in a thin and stylish design," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. "The BlackBerry 8830 is the first BlackBerry smartphone to combine CDMA and GSM connectivity, enabling Sprint customers to take advantage of its industry-leading productivity benefits at home in the United States and abroad."
The BlackBerry 8830 operates domestically on the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network, and globally on CDMA and GSM/GPRS networks where Sprint has international roaming agreements. With this handset, Sprint customers have the power to make or receive phone calls in more than 170 countries and access BlackBerry data services including email and Web browsing in more than 75 countries. More information about expansive international coverage options with Sprint can be found at www.sprint.com/international.
While customers have the option of using a third-party SIM for international voice and data services, Sprint is also offering clear value and simplicity with its international BlackBerry service plan. The newly available Worldwide BlackBerry plan for $69.99 per month gives customers unlimited BlackBerry email and web access in the U.S., Canada and Mexico using CDMA technology and with GSM/GPRS carriers abroad where Sprint has applicable roaming agreements. Sprint customers have the flexibility to pair the Worldwide BlackBerry plan with any CDMA-based BlackBerry smartphone from Sprint, including the BlackBerry® 7130e and BlackBerry® 8703e, which offer data roaming capabilities in Canada and Mexico.
Sprint international voice roaming rates range from $0.59 to $4.99 per minute, depending on where customers are calling. Customers making frequent calls while in Canada can take advantage of a specific service plan for $2.99 per month which allows calls to be made and received at $0.20 per minute. Additional pricing plans are available exclusively to enterprise customers.
Regardless of where Sprint customers find themselves they can boost their productivity or enjoy personal interests with the premium capabilities of the slim, stylish BlackBerry 8830. A speakerphone, voice activated dialing and Bluetooth support make hands-free use a breeze, while a full QWERTY keyboard and trackball navigation enables easy use of productivity and entertainment applications. Other key features include:
• Built-in GPS - customers can utilize applications such as Sprint Navigation, spoken and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, or BlackBerry® Maps, a mapping application.
• OnDemand - a unique application available exclusively from Sprint that delivers customized, up-to-date information such as sports, weather, news, money and movie information, all with the push of a button.
• Phone as Modem - with the included USB cable, customers can utilize the BlackBerry 8830 as a wireless modem to extend the capabilities of the Sprint Nationwide Network to a laptop. An appropriate service plan is required.
• Media Player - play videos, audio podcasts or music files with the built-in media player; also includes a stereo headset jack.
• MicroSD slot - allows expandable memory to store music and video files.
The BlackBerry 8830 will be available next month online at www.sprint.com, through Sprint Telesales, Sprint business sales channels and retail locations. The BlackBerry 8830 from Sprint will be priced at $199.99 with a two year-service agreement and $100 mail-in-rebate and $100 instant rebate. Additional savings may be available to business customers through their Sprint account manager.
AOL Instant Messenger Service for BlackBerry Smartphones
Sprint is also announcing it is delivering more value to its customers by being the first carrier to launch an AOL Instant Messaging client for BlackBerry smartphones. The downloadable Java application provides a true AOL instant messaging experience on compatible BlackBerry handsets with fast message delivery and presence notification. Sprint customers using a compatible BlackBerry smartphone* from Sprint (CDMA) or Nextel (iDEN) will be able to take advantage of the AOL Instant Messenger service. Compatible CDMA BlackBerry handsets include the 7130e, 8703e and 8830. Compatible iDEN BlackBerry handsets include the 7520 and 7100i.
Key features of this new functionality includes:
• Contact Management. Customers will be able to Manage AIM Buddy Lists right from their BlackBerry smartphone.
• Virtual real-time message exchange. Customers will experience virtual real-time message exchange.
• Immediate presence updates. Customer will see which buddies are online and ready to chat.
• Instant 'New message' notification. Customers can choose how to be notified when they receive a new message.
• Multitasking. Customers can keep the AIM service running in the background while they use the BlackBerry smartphone for other things.
• Emoticon support. Customers can express themselves with many of the AIM emoticons.
• Auto sign-in. Customers can save time by setting the AIM client to remember their username and password and sign them into the service automatically.
Sprint customers can leverage their existing BlackBerry data plans for the AOL Instant Messaging service. There is no additional cost to customers for the AIM client or instant messaging service.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks serving 53. 6 million customers at the end of the first-quarter 2007; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
*Contact Sprint for information on AIM support for various BlackBerry models.
The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM assumes no liability and makes no representation, warranty or guarantee in relation to third party products or services. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners.