Orascom Telecom and RIM Plan To Bring BlackBerry to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia

Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E. and Research In Motion today announced plans to offer the BlackBerry® wireless communications solution to mobile customers in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. BlackBerry will operate on Orascom’s GSM/GPRS networks and international roaming will be supported in countries where Orascom has GPRS roaming agreements in place.(i)

BlackBerry, developed and manufactured by RIM, provides always-on, push-based, mobile access to e-mail and other communications and information for both individual and corporate customers. BlackBerry will enable Orascom’s subscribers to access e-mail, phone, text messaging, calendar, Internet browser, organizer and corporate data applications via an integrated wireless platform. With their BlackBerry device, Orascom users will be able to easily and remotely manage their e-mail, appointments and contacts, as well as access corporate applications.

“Orascom Telecom is committed to providing its customers with the most powerful mobile communications tools available and we are therefore pleased to be working with RIM to introduce BlackBerry, the internationally popular wireless solution, to our subscribers,” said Ossama Bessada, Services Development Director at Orascom Telecom. “By using BlackBerry from Orascom, mobile customers will enhance the way they communicate at work and in their personal lives, increasing their productivity, efficiency and responsiveness.”

“BlackBerry is an extremely powerful business tool that provides an advanced wireless solution for communication and information which will enable our customers to be wirelessly connected throughout the day. It is also an excellent opportunity for international travelers visiting the countries we operate in to roam on our networks and connect directly to their offices using this highly developed technology,” added Emad Farid, Executive Officer for Operations Control at Orascom Telecom.

The BlackBerry service will be available with the easy-to-use BlackBerry 7290 Wireless Handheld(TM) and the BlackBerry 7100g(TM) business phone.

“BlackBerry is designed to provide mobile professionals with the best combined wireless email, phone and data experience and that optimized mobile experience has fuelled its adoption by over three million subscribers worldwide,” said Mark Guibert, Vice President, Corporate Marketing at Research In Motion. “BlackBerry also provides a secure, standards-based, robust and extensible platform for a wide range of wireless enterprise applications. We are very pleased to work with Orascom Telecom to bring BlackBerry to its customers in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.”

For Orascom Telecom’s corporate customers, BlackBerry Enterprise Server(TM) software tightly integrates with Microsoft® Exchange, IBM Lotus® Domino(TM) and Novell GroupWise® and works with existing enterprise systems to enable secure, push-based wireless access to email and other corporate data.

For individuals and smaller businesses, BlackBerry Internet Service(TM) allows users to access up to ten corporate and/or personal email accounts (including Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and many popular ISP email accounts) from a single device.

Pricing and availability details for Orascom Telecom’s networks in specific countries will be available from Orascom at a later date.

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