Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation and Visafone Communication Limited, the number one rated mobile operator for quality of service by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), today announced the launch of BlackBerry services on Visafone’s CDMA mobile network in Nigeria. Visafone is also launching three BlackBerry smartphones, becoming the first carrier to introduce CDMA-enabled BlackBerry smartphones in Africa.
Beginning October 26, all Visafone shops in Nigeria will be able to take pre-bookings from customers for the BlackBerry Curve 9310, BlackBerry Curve 9370 and BlackBerry Bold 9930 smartphones, which will be available in November. The combination of the BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry services will give Visafone customers access to email, Internet and social networking apps, including BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), Facebook and Twitter.
Waldi Wepener, Regional Director for RIM in East, Central and West Africa, said, “We are proud to support Visafone with the launch of the BlackBerry solution to their customers in Nigeria, and to bring CDMA-enabled BlackBerry smartphones to the region with Visafone for the first time. The BlackBerry solution from Visafone offers customers a strong selection of smartphones and a wide range of services that connects them to people and information around the country, across the continent, and throughout the world.”
Mr. Jim Ovia, chairman of Visafone, stated, “This partnership represents a big step forward in Africa’s mobile history and we are very excited to be at the forefront of such a ground-breaking development in the Nigerian market. We have responded to our customers’ demands for BlackBerry services by being the first to provide them with a suite of CDMA-enabled BlackBerry smartphones that best meets the region’s growing mobile needs. More broadly, this launch is a major boost to the NCC’s efforts to achieve growth of data usage and quality voice services to the country’s 100 million active mobile phone lines.”
Featuring the BlackBerry 7.1 OS, all the new BlackBerry smartphones provide a highly refined and integrated suite of phone, email, messaging, social networking, multimedia, and consumer and business apps to keep customers connected and productive throughout the day. The smartphones can also be used as mobile hotspots, allowing other Wi-Fi enabled devices to use the smartphones’ mobile network connection to access the Internet.
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