Vodafone to sell Blackberry devices in Ireland


8 Apr 2004

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As previously reported in siliconrepublic.com, Vodafone has linked up with Research in Motion (RIM) to deliver BlackBerry email devices to customers in Ireland.

The Blackberry solution for corporate users will be launched next month with the tri-band BlackBerry 7230 handheld. The device will have a customised user-interface using Vodafone Live iconography.

The products will initially be aimed at the corporate business market. BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Vodafone customers will have the choice of using the BlackBerry alongside their standard mobile phone or alternatively using the BlackBerry handheld as their sole device for voice and data.

There are also moves afoot by a number of mobile manufacturers to have RIM’s ground-breaking software installed on their mobile devices to add to their sales-appeal to the corporate, SME and SOHO (small office, home office) marketplace. Last week, siliconrepublic.com reported on how Nokia had forged an alliance with RIM for exactly such a venture, and how Vodafone was on the brink of introducing new BlackBerry products, originally and currently championed by rival operator O2.

Ian Hoddle, vice president of the Vodafone business unit at Research In Motion, said: “We are pleased to expand our working relationship with Vodafone into the Irish marketplace. RIM’s BlackBerry wireless platform and Vodafone’s network expertise provide a powerful productivity solution to business users. We are confident that BlackBerry will be very popular with Vodafone customers in Ireland.”

Details of the product and pricing structure for the BlackBerry devices on the Vodafone network will not be revealed until the launch in May.

It is understood that Vodafone is also planning to launch the BlackBerry Web Client solution for the SME and SOHO business markets this autumn.

By John Kennedy