Verizon Wireless and BlackBerry say this morning what we've been hearing for some time: that the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition smartphone will be available on May 14 through Verizon Wireless' business sales channels and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores on May 28.
Along with the business launch, May 14 will also see the initial availablility of Verizon's Global BlackBerry service. BlackBerry and Verizon describe this as an an "always-on, always connected" wireless e-mail solution that provides quick, easy access to e-mail, contacts, calendar, organizer and the Web while on-the-go.
The service will offer business users wireless e-mail and the convenience of one local number for domestic and international use in Australia, Europe, parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North America, as well as the ability to to place and receive voice calls from more than 150 countries and send and receive e-mails in the United States, Canada and more than 60 countries.
Global BlackBerry service customers will eceive the Global Support Pack, which includes a SIM card, a user reference guide and details on accessing the Global Help Desk for 24-hour customer support, seven days a week. Customers will also receive a calling card for free support calls while traveling outside of the U.S. from any landline phone to technical support if the BlackBerry 8830 is lost, broken or stolen.
The phone itself will cost $299.99, which is $100 off the list price with a 24-month service agreementThe BlackBerry 8830 World Edition smartphone will be available in May for $299.99 after a $100 rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Voice and data plans signed up at the time of purchase knock the price down another $100.
Customers signing up for Global BlackBerry service will get unlimited e-mail in the United States, Canada and more than 60 countries worldwide for $64.99 monthly access with a qualifying voice plan, or for $69.99 monthly access without a voice plan.
BlackBerry and Verizon say that customers can also add a "Pay As You Go" data feature to any qualifying voice plan for an additional $20 per Megabyte. Customers wanting to use the BlackBerry 8830 for e-mail solely in the U.S. may opt for an unlimited e-mail plan beginning at $49.99 monthly access.