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Fri 13 Oct 2006 08:00 PM

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Batelco and EMS team up for BlackBerry in Bahrain

RIM’s best-selling PDAs launched in the Kingdom

Wireless personal digital appliance (PDA) Blackberry has arrived in Bahrain thanks to a joint-effort between Batelco, Emitac Mobile Solutions (EMS) and the PDA’s maker Research in Motion (RIM).

The three companies announced in a statement that the BlackBerry handset will be available from this month in Bahrain, selling through Batelco account managers for corporate customers and Batelco outlets for the general public.

“With over 5.5 million subscribers worldwide, RIM is committed to extending the availability of BlackBerry globally and we are pleased to be working with Batelco to bring the benefits of BlackBerry to mobile customers in the Kingdom of Bahrain for the first time,” said Charmaine Eggberry, vice president and managing director of Research in Motion (RIM) Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the developer of the BlackBerry wireless platform.

“BlackBerry is the perfect tool for individuals that strive to be more productive, more flexible and ultimately more successful in work and life.”

BlackBerry devices are used to keep in constant touch with e-mails, but they also support phone, internet, SMS, organiser and corporate data applications.

The first BlackBerry device to launch in the kingdom is the BlackBerry 8700g.

This operates on Batelco’s GSM/GPRS network and delivers fast performance for web browsing, application use and e-mail attachment viewing. Features of the 8700g include light-sensing technology which adjusts screen and keyboard lighting to different environments, and conference calling options.

“We are pleased to launch BlackBerry from Batelco in the Kingdom of Bahrain and look forward to enabling new customers to realise the productivity benefits of BlackBerry,” said Derek Roga, CEO at EMS, a Dubai-based solutions and service provider of wireless handheld business solutions.

There are 859,000 mobile users in Bahrain at present, according to EMS.

Batelco joins a growing list of operators deploying BlackBerry solutions in the Middle East. Mobile operator Mobily introduced the BlackBerry wireless platform in Saudi Arabia last month and incumbent UAE telecom operator Etisalat launched it in the UAE in May.

A spokesperson for EMS said that there were plans to launch the BlackBerry in other markets in the region but did not divulge any further details.

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