Research In Motion (RIM) is demonstrating a new BlackBerry Wireless Handheld that operates on 802.11b networks and incorporates both voice and data capabilities. The BlackBerry 7270 (part of the 7200 family of devics, pictured) will be the first BlackBerry handheld to feature VoIP and WLAN (wireless LAN) support.
The new handheld is expected to be commercially available early in 2005, but RIM has been testing functional prototypes internally and will begin external customer trials with select organizations starting next month. The BlackBerry 7270 will operate in conjunction with RIM’s new BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.0, providing support for VoWLAN (VoIP over wireless LAN). This feature essentially extends desktop phone functionality to a BlackBerry wireless handheld allowing the user to place and receive calls away from the desk. It utilizes SIP-based call control to deliver standards-based interoperability with IP PBX and traditional corporate telephony equipment.
Another extended functionality is the Wireless Enterprise Applications. The BlackBerry 7270 can interact with enterprise data applications via the Mobile Data Service (MDS) feature of BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.0, allowing ISV’s and developers to extend enterprise applications to a wider range of employees and scenarios. With the advanced browsing and application development capabilities introduced in v4.0, the opportunities for both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ based wireless applications are extensive, including opportunities within customer service, IT management, facilities management, administrative services and many others.
The company says that its new BlackBerry 7270 provides on-premises workers with the capability to stay connected when they’re away from their desk (wherever their organization has deployed WLAN coverage). Organizations can provide users with the flexibility of a wireless VoIP phone that is tied into their existing PBX telephony together with always-on access to email, intranet, Internet and organizer applications.
Further details on the new BlackBerry 7270 and general availability will be announced at a later date.