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Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel line up to sell BlackBerry ‘World Edition’

Research In Motion Ltd. announced a “World Edition” BlackBerry for international travelers that combines CDMA and GSM technology and will be sold by Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp.
The two-carrier deal covers the two CDMA operators in the United States, an arrangement that may reflect RIM’s clout as purveyor of a sought-after device, and plays off the two carriers’ competitive pursuit of market leader AT&T Inc./Cingular. The new BlackBerry 8830 follows on the heels of a GSM BlackBerry (model 8800) already sold at AT&T’s wireless division that works on European and other international GSM frequencies.
The new CDMA/GSM device will offer voice services in most countries around the world and a new “always on” e-mail service in about 60 countries.
At Verizon Wireless, which will lock the 8830 to deliver roaming revenue to its Euro-parent, Vodafone Group plc, the 8830 will launch through business sales channels on May 14 and at the carrier’s stores two weeks later. The price is $300 with a two-year subscription; a $100 discount is available when the purchaser signs up for certain voice and data plans.
Sprint Nextel will bring its model 8830 to business users and online in early July, with consumer availability later that month. It will offer the phone “unlocked,” so that international travelers are free to strike their own deals for roaming service. The carrier did not announce pricing.


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