RIM to Expand BlackBerry Connect ServiceBy Wayne Rash | Posted 2006-06-28 Email Print
The company says it plans to add support for 20 more devices, including Palm OS handhelds, and will roll out a dual-mode Wi-Fi/cellular BlackBerry by the end of the year.
In addition, RIM, of Waterloo, Ontario, will expand its BlackBerry Connect service in the United States, with the service coming to Palm devices in July, Balsillie told eWEEK June 28 at the C3 Expo here. BlackBerry Connect allows non-BlackBerry devices to use the BlackBerry network. "Twenty non-BlackBerry devices can use the BlackBerry service now," Balsillie said, adding that 20 more would be able to use it this year.
Currently BlackBerry Connect works only with GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) devices, but Balsillie said that CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) carriers would be adding the capability to their BlackBerry networks in the near future. He said that the focus is on GSM because "providers want to be able to sell their devices to 200 carriers in 100 countries."
Balsillie also said that RIM would be introducing new features to BlackBerry devices, including MP3 players, video, memory expansion and image capture, very soon. In addition, he said that GPS would be included in virtually all BlackBerry devices, except for some that would work with a Bluetooth GPS receiver.
RIM is expanding its role in several areas of the enterprise, Balsillie said in his keynote address. "The most important thing in wireless data is security," he said. Balsillie noted that the process of opening a persistent connection using wireless is a problem. "The risk is pandemic," he said. He added that security is the BlackBerry's "long suit." He said that the RIM middleware and the BlackBerry are approved by a wide variety of government agencies, including the NSA. "We're very active in the military," he said, criticizing other wireless companies that he said have added security as an afterthought.
Read the full story on eWEEK.com: RIM to Expand BlackBerry Connect Service