New BlackBerry's A Wireless Modem

BlackBerry broadband

Available Dec. 1 through Verizon Wireless, Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion's BlackBerry 7130e has standard features such as push e-mail, Web browsing, a QWERTY keyboard and a high-resolution LCD color screenbut it can also be used as a modem to access Verizon Wireless' BroadbandAccess Connect service. The service runs on Verizon's Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) network, a third-generation cellular technology that offers download speeds between 400 Kbps and 700 Kbps.



Integrating the old with the new:


>> Support for Verizon's 1XRTT and Broadband Access EV-DO network technologies
>> High-resolution color LCD screen
>> SureType Keypad technology
>> Bluetooth support for certain profiles
>> 64 Mbytes of Flash memory

Using the BlackBerry 7130e, mobile professionals can quickly download large files such as spreadsheets and PowerPoint files to a notebook PC over the wireless network, according to a spokesperson for Verizon Wireless, Bedminster, N.J. This will be useful to a large enterprise's mobile workers, the spokesperson added.

Adding broadband wireless to BlackBerry's existing feature set will boost mobile workers' productivity by allowing them easier access to the corporate network, said Sam Coyl, vice president of business development at Netrepid, a Camp Hill, Pa.-based wireless solution provider. "Adding this type of functionality creates a true mobile user who has access to realtime information that's not limited to e-mail," Coyl said. "The persistent ability to stay connected and share information that can include files is a huge benefit to the end user and the corporation."

However, issues with the network performance of EV-DO-enabled smartphones have led to a subpar experience for some users.

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Paul Giobbi, president of Zumasys, a Lake Forest, Calif.-based solution provider, has been unimpressed with the EV-DO-enabled smartphones he has used, which include the Samsung i730 and the Audiovox 6600.

"It could have to do with Windows Mobile or the intense battery-related issues that come with EV-DO, but there is definitely a problem, and I highly doubt that RIM will have solved it," Giobbi said.