Wi-Fi BlackBerry Coming From RIM

Waterloo, Canada-based Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed that RIM has a hybrid cellular-Wi-Fi Blackberry device in the lab. The device has the usual Blackberry enterprise e-mail functionality, and is also VoIP-ready so that voice calls can travel over the Wi-Fi network. The main need for this device is cited as the fact that indoor cellular coverage is spotty, so a Blackberry that connects to the indoor WLAN would be useful. Does that mean you’ll be using this device to make VoIP phone calls from Starbucks? Not anytime soon. The login, authorization, and security characteristics vary so much that it will be a while before most people use such solutions in public hotspots. Most likely is that the device will be configured to use your corporate WLAN and perhaps your home WLAN. Furthermore, carriers don’t want to lose the revenue from that phone call from Starbucks, and RIM needs to be careful not to threaten carrier wireless WAN revenue, because it relies on carriers for sales and distribution.

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