Blackberry Bold unveiled in South Korea

Updated:2008/12/17 10:48

Canada's Research in Motion and South Korea's SK Telecom announced Tuesday the launch of corporate service for the BlackBerry Bold smart phone, which will be available in South Korea on the country's biggest wireless network.

The two companies said the device was expected to be available on the market by the end of the month. Plans were to target both multinational and domestic companies, it said.

Use of the BlackBerry and other foreign smart phones has been hampered by a South Korean rule requiring mobile cellular devices to carry special software adapted to South Korea's wireless Internet platform.

An exception to that requirement was made earlier this year, paving the way for the BlackBerry Bold's arrival, though so far only corporate customers will be allowed to sign up for service.

The Korean Communications Commission announced last week that the rule will be abolished after April 1, which could entice foreign smart phone makers — which have shied away because of the extra cost involved in modifying their phones — to enter South Korea and potentially target retail customers.

"At this point there are no plans for that," Norm Lo, RIM's vice president for Asia Pacific, told reporters of the prospect of marketing to individuals. "We're certainly open to it," he added

The South Korean mobile market is dominated by Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., which also offer smart phones.

Currently, it is not impossible to use a BlackBerry smart phone in South Korea. Some foreign businesses that operate in the country have set up accounts with providers in Hong Kong and had their employees use them in South Korea by using the roaming function.

Also, Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM has partnered with another South Korean company, KT Powertel, since 2006 in offering BlackBerry service for corporate customers via a radio system. Coverage is sporadic, does not allow roaming and has attracted few users.


Source: AP News

 Source:Source: AP News
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