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Tech - Communications

 June 23, 2004
Vodafone NZ BlackBerry Wireless Solution For Mobile Professionals

 Vodafone and Research In Motion (RIM) last month announced plans to introduce the BlackBerry wireless solution to Vodafone's customers in New Zealand. "Up until now email has been largely deskbound. Mobile email really has been the 'missing link' for truly mobilizing businesses in New Zealand. BlackBerry will allow people to turn wasted time into productive time because they're always connected, even when they're on the move," said Phil Patel, General Manager of Business Marketing at Vodafone. "Research tells us that by 2008 mobile email penetration will reach 80 per cent and by the same year will have increased worker productivity by 10 per cent. Internationally BlackBerry has become a phenomenon. We expect to have a similar reaction to it in New Zealand."

BlackBerry will offer Vodafone customers secure, push-based wireless access to email and corporate data. The BlackBerry 7230 Wireless Handheld is a small, compact handheld featuring a high-resolution color screen that also integrates phone, Internet and organizer applications. One key difference from other mobile email devices is BlackBerry's 'push' delivery - instead of relying on the user to disrupt workflow to dial in and check for messages, email is automatically delivered to the handheld. BlackBerry from Vodafone New Zealand will be available via Vodafone's national and international GPRS network.

Frustrations for business people on the move include the time it takes to log in remotely via the Internet to check urgent emails before venturing into their next meeting and facing a backlog of email on return to the office.

An international study of BlackBerry users conducted by Ipsos Reid in 2004 found that users recover an average of 54 minutes of downtime per day. By being continuously connected using BlackBerry, business users dramatically increase their productivity by making better use of 'downtime' and responding to time sensitive matters quickly.

Vodafone New Zealand has mobilized its own sales force with BlackBerry since April and already has 100 individuals connected with BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry solution for corporate customers (featuring BlackBerry Enterprise Server) is expected to be available to Vodafone's business customers in July. The BlackBerry solution for individuals (featuring BlackBerry Web Client) is planned to launch in New Zealand later this year.