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T-Mobile signs up RIM in Europe

Bound to do better than O2

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T-Mobile is to start flogging Blackberry wireless email devices from Research in Motion in Europe.

The duo say it is the first Blackberry "prosumer" solution i.e. it's aimed at business people who like buying new toys. Also T-Mobile is pitching the device at "smaller firms". Smaller than what? The franchise kicks off in Germany, Austria and the UK, and other territories will follow in due course.

Last year, RIM's Blackberry made its European debut through an exclusive tie-in with O2. The mobile network operator failed to generate anything like the 165,000 unit sales originally forecast - selling just 6,000 units in its first six months, according to What Mobile. O2 cut back orders and lost exclusivity.

T-Mobile will probably sell more - it's much bigger for a start and it has experience of selling Blackberrys in the US.

The T-Mobile Blackberry in Europe will work on the network operator's GSM and GPRS networks and incorporates its T-Email software. Alternative access is supported through connections to another POP3 or IMAP4 ISP email account. The product should be available Q2, this year. No price(s) yet, but presumably these will be contingent on contract terms. The O2 Blackberries cost around £400. ®

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