BlackBerry wireless e-mail launched in Singapore

Singapore telecommunications carrier StarHub Pte. Ltd. will begin trials next month of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device for its corporate customers, the company said Wednesday.

This will be the first deployment in Singapore of BlackBerry, which has been rolled out in other markets in the region such as Hong Kong and Australia.

StarHub will offer the Java-based BlackBerry wireless platform to corporate users with applications including e-mail, phone, Short Message Service (SMS), Web browser and organizer applications, according to the statement. The service will run over StarHub’s Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) network upgraded with General Packet Radio Service (GPRS).

Corporate customers in the trial will use the BlackBerry 6720 Wireless Handheld device to run the service, which supports Microsoft Corp. Exchange and IBM Corp. Lotus Domino environments, StarHub said.

StarHub will not announce prices for the service until the company is ready for a commercial launch. In Australia, where the service was launched on a trial basis in September 2002, it costs A$95 (US$52) per month for unlimited use. The price of the BlackBerry device may vary according to the type of service package ordered, but is expected to be around A$1,400 for commercial users, Telstra said.

BlackBerry, developed by Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion Ltd., was launched in North America in 1999 and Europe in 2001. The service is currently available or scheduled for launch by GSM/GPRS carriers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Italy, and Hong Kong.