Blackberry ties up ripe deal with UAE's Etisalat

Standfirst Canadian smartphone vendor debuts its addition to the Blackberry family with Etisalat tie-up.

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By  Ronan Shields Published  September 9, 2007

Canada's Research in Motion (RIM) has debuted its latest Blackberry solution in the Middle East with the launch of the Blackberry Curve in conjunction with UAE incumbent telco Etisalat.

The launch, which will take place at GULFCOMMS, will see the two companies reveal the device in a joint press conference hosted on the Etisalat stand (Z-A1) at midday today.

Khalded Kefel, Blackberry's director of sales, Middle East, said the Curve is aimed at the region's ‘prosumers', and highlighted the device's enhanced applications, such as a 2.0 megapixel camera and a drag-and-drop multimedia player.

"Our previous dealings with Etisalat have been a tremendous success and we are anticipating the launch of the Curve will build on this," he said.

"The product is now available in the UAE through Etisalat's channel partners and we expect the rollout of the Curve to be extended throughout the region in the near future," he added.

Blackberry officials reported that its presence at the GULFCOMMS expo had generated strong interest from a number of regional telecommunications carriers. But they were not in a position to speculate on any future launches in the region.

"Our policy is not to be exclusive in any market that we have a presence, for instance our services are available in Saudi Arabia through both STC and Mobily," said Kefel.

Meanwhile, RIM has paired with Jordanian telco Orange to extend the rollout of the Blackberry Pearl solution in the kingdom. The company also launched its Blackberry solution in Algéria recently where it teamed up with Mobilis - an affiliate of Algerie Telecom - and telecoms equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent.

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