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Old 03-07-2005, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default [2005-03-07] BlackBerry launched in South Africa

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[Johannesburg, 7 March 2005] - Vodacom yesterday announced what it claims to be the first commercial launch of the BlackBerry wireless solution in SA, aimed at both the consumer and corporate markets.x

BlackBerry is a mobile solution that combines telephony with push e-mail, SMS and access to the Internet, as well as access to calendar, contacts and other corporate data applications in a single integrated device.

The cellular operator claims that corporate and personal e-mail can be seamlessly integrated and delivered automatically to the customer's BlackBerry device via the always on, countrywide Vodacom GPRS network.

The user can receive, reply and forward e-mails as well as view a range of attachments, and corporate users can access their company's enterprise applications, and – with some application integration – also access back-end applications to streamline business processes and operations.

As there is full synchronisation of e-mail, calendar and contacts in the corporate environment, it means the user can have the same view on their BlackBerry device as they would have on their desktop.

“BlackBerry will revolutionise the way we communicate and do business, by providing customers with a robust mobile platform and a simple-to-use device that combines the efficiency of a mobile phone, with the benefits of being able to receive e-mail and attachments on the move,” says Alan Knott-Craig, Vodacom's Group CEO.

He believes the introduction of BlackBerry to the local market is an illustration of how wireless technology has the potential to democratise communications further, by providing e-mail and Internet access to millions of people.

Knott-Craig says at present, the company will offer customers two BlackBerry models, the 7290 and 7100v, which are available through Vodashops and Vodacom-approved outlets and service providers.

Although Vodacom claims this is the first commercial roll-out of BlackBerry, rival operator MTN has also been busy with the solution, deploying it at law firm Webber Wentzel Bowens at the end of last month.

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