RIM's New BlackBerry 8800 Is Available On Cingular Today. Cool, But Where's The 3G? - InformationWeek

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2/21/2007
03:21 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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RIM's New BlackBerry 8800 Is Available On Cingular Today. Cool, But Where's The 3G?

RIM has offered 3G to customers on Verizon Wireless' EV-DO high-speed network for well over a year, but even the

RIM has offered 3G to customers on Verizon Wireless' EV-DO high-speed network for well over a year, but even the brand-spanking-newest GSM-based BlackBerry 8800 released today fails to add UMTS or HSDPA 3G data. What gives?To start, I have to say the 8800 has its strong points. By combining Pearl cache with a slightly bigger form factor that includes a full Qwerty keyboard, you have a solid business-class device. The trackball is simply sweet to use (especially for us lefties) and the updated sense of style goes a long way to help its cool factor. Too bad it's handcuffed with EDGE data.

I really don't get it. Granted, Cingular has been sort of slow to get its HSDPA networks up and running with the same speed as Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, but it does have a fair number of markets lit up with its brand of 3G wireless data. Cingular has no less than eight handsets enabled with UMTS, two of which are smartphones -- (Samsung Blackjack and Treo 750).

As solid as EDGE can be for data, UMTS/HSDPA is far superior, especially for Web browsing. These days, having a smartphone that's using 2.5G radio technology is somewhat pointless. RIM is behind the ball here. Given the number of BlackBerry's deployed on Cingular's network, you'd think the Happy Jack boys would have demanded 3G from its handset partner ages ago. No such luck so far.

Verizon had the EV-DO-equipped 7130 in October 2005 and the 8703e in September 2006. You have to wonder how many sales Cingular is losing to Verizon because it doesn't have any 3G BlackBerry's on its network.

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