Vodacom to bring BlackBerry to SA

Von Computing SA

Following Vodacom SA"s announcement last week of its partnership agreement with Vodafone Group, the company has said that it will be first to market in South Africa (SA) with the "BlackBerry" device.

The Vodafone product portfolio will enhance the current business offering of Vodacom with global products such as the Vodafone Mobile Connect Card, which supports 2G and 3G (scheduled for December), and the BlackBerry 7100v wireless communication solution, Vodacom says.

Says Alan Knott-Craig, Group CEO, Vodacom: ?BlackBerry will revolutionize the way in which we communicate and do business, by providing customers with a simple device that combines the efficiency and basic features of a mobile phone, with the benefits of being able to access e-mail and attachments on the move. The BlackBerry 7100v, which we will bring to market, is exclusive to Vodafone.?

?I mentioned at the press conference last week that, within the next five to ten years, current GSM technology will become outdated, and third-generation technology that is being developed now, has the potential to democratize e-mail and Internet access for millions of people. This is the first of many examples of how Vodacom will make this a reality,? he said.

BlackBerry is a mobile phone combining easy access to e-mail, calendar and contacts.

The device is said to be easy to set up and use, with BlackBerry push technology enabling e-mail to be delivered direct to the handset without the need for manual dial-up.

As well as providing effective voice services, BlackBerry opens and forwards e-mail attachments and enables fast and easy access to a wide range of additional attachment formats (including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat), Vodacom says.

In addition to the 32MB of memory, the device offers advanced browser technology, quad-band international coverage, high performance internal antenna, speakerphone and Bluetooth support.

The BlackBerry will be available in this country in the first half of next year.