James Middleton

July 18, 2007

1 Min Read
New BlackBerry gets wifi

Research In Motion’s (RIM) second wifi-enabled gadget got an airing and a first this week, being the first BlackBerry to support UMA (unlicensed mobile access) for Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC).

The BlackBerry 8820 is RIM’s thinnest smartphone design to date and features a full QWERTY keyboard, the now familiar trackball navigation system, built-in GPS and a microSD/SDHC memory slot that can support future generations of memory card up to 32GB.

All well and good but the interesting bit is that dual mode EDGE/GPRS/GSM and wifi connectivity for UMA. This allows the 8820 to ‘seamlessly’ switch voice calls between a cellular network and a wifi network, in the enterprise, as well as through public hotspots and wireless home networks.

So far it’s available in France and the UK on Orange, so it presumably makes use of Orange’s Unik/Unique FMC service, while AT&T is scheduled to launch the device in the US later this summer, which is odd, given that AT&T doesn’t have a UMA-based FMC service at present.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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