Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) announced in August that it will expand the BlackBerry solution by offering a software application that will enable users to easily select attachments from within an e-mail and view documents, spreadsheets, presentations and graphics attachments. Users will also be able to retrieve a summary of the document or table of contents and selectively view the part of the document that is relevant. Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, WordPerfect, Adobe PDF, HTML and ASCII will be supported. RIM also plans to extend its development environment by providing developers with detailed application program interfaces for integrating applications with the BlackBerry enterprise server.

Avaya Inc. is enabling St. Jerome’s University, an associate of the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ont., to extend its university network by giving students access to e-mail, the Internet and campus information from residence rooms with the Avaya Wireless Local Area Network solution portfolio. St. Jerome’s has installed nine wireless access points in the hallways of each residence building to transmit frequencies to desktops and laptops equipped with the Avaya Wireless PC cards, enabling students and staff to roam between access points, similar to the way calls roam between cells in a cellular network. The university has many older buildings with thick concrete walls, so the university could not install a traditional cable LAN.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

has announced the release of its latest mobile phone, the SPH-a500, which combines a colour screen with the potential for high-speed data access on third-generation wireless networks. The clamshell-like a500 takes advantage of thin-film transistor screen technology similar to that used in desktop LCD monitors, providing a brighter picture and more colours than typical cell phones. The phone also offers an airplane mode feature, which lets users turn off the communications portion of the phone’s electronics while still allowing access to the included personal organizer. A built-in GPS will also let users connect to location-based offerings, such as driving directions and traffic updates, once those services become available. The a500 will list for approximately US$279.