At work most of us starting using the T-Mobile Sidekick and later upgrading to the Sidekick II. Overall, everyone seems to be pleased with their devices. The AOL IM, email, text messaging, and calendar are probably the most frequently used features. Very few use the phone because most of our employees are deaf/hard of hearing. We only use the unlimited data plan for $29.99 a month. Unlimited email, text messaging, web browsing, AOL instant messaging, and so on.
We are looking into possibly getting the blackberry handhelds when the contract expires. More specifically the 7290. However, after several hours browsing the different service providers: T-Mobile, Cingular, Verizon, and Alltel it is not clear to us if the instant messaging feature is available. We're under the impression we have to pay $15 or $20 extra a month just to have instant messaging?
Can anyone explain if instant messaging is really available on the blackberry? If so, which wireless carrier do you suggest? Any feedback would be appreciated.