Fri, Jun 23, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Mobile to offer BlackBerry soon

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation's third-largest mobile phone operator, said yesterday that it plans to offer BlackBerry handsets and mail services to local business-people soon, edging out its rivals in introducing the red-hot mobile device.

Taiwan Mobile said in a statement that it recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion (RIM) Ltd, the developer of BlackBerry.

The Canadian company has sold more than 5 million BlackBerry phones since their launch in 1999. Some 160 mobile carriers around the world, including Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and Hong Kong's CSL Ltd, offer the device.

Japan's top mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo Ltd also plans to start offering BlackBerry this year, Taiwan Mobile said in the statement. RIM said earlier this month that it would start selling its Blackberry devices in Japan later this year after reaching a distribution agreement with NTT DoCoMo.

Taiwan Mobile said the Blackberry device will allow users to receive and write messages in Taiwan, but the company declined to specify whether the device would allow local users to send messages in Chinese or English, or how many models the company plans to launch here, the Bloomberg Wire Service reported yesterday, citing Josephine Juan (阮淑祥), a Taiwan Mobile spokeswoman.

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