BlackBerry expanding in Australia

International wireless solutions manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) is expecting more players to join the battle for BlackBerry solutions.RIM Asia Pacific vice president Patrick Spence, said customer demand for BlackBerry solutions in the Australian market has continuously grown since Telstra's launch in 2002.

International wireless solutions manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) is expecting more players to join the battle for BlackBerry solutions.

RIM Asia Pacific vice president Patrick Spence, said customer demand for BlackBerry solutions in the Australian market has continuously grown since Telstra's launch in 2002.

"As a result, Vodafone and Optus are also planning to offer BlackBerry to their customers in Australia. Vodafone is expected to begin offering BlackBerry in June and Optus is targeting to launch BlackBerry later this year," Spence said.

He added that growing interest has also been observed in the Blackberry Connect licensing program which opens up Blackberry services to other handsets. So far, only Telstra has introduced the handset Nokia 6820 with BlackBerry Connect support.

BlackBerry Connect licensing program enables mobile device manufacturers to connect their devices to BlackBerry Enterprise Server using the push-based wireless architecture and infrastructure.

Spence said that the Australian market is just business as usual for them, even with the increasing numbers of carriers interested in the solution.

"Customers obviously already work with multiple carriers and RIM is well equipped and financed to manage the increasing carrier interest in BlackBerry. We already work with over 50 carriers around the world, so this is business-as-usual for us," Spence said.

BlackBerry is available in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines. Spence said RIM is currently in various stages of discussion with other carriers in Asia Pacific that are interested in BlackBerry.

"We will announce those plans on a country-by-country basis in conjunction with each carrier," Spence said.

He added that they have gotten feedback in Australia similar to feedback in other countries.

"BlackBerry customers in Australia are telling us that they've seen the significant benefits that BlackBerry can bring to their organisation such as time and cost savings, improved workflow and responsiveness and increased productivity," Spence said.

Spence is expected to tour around Asia Pacific and Australia to finalise deals with various telecommunications carriers.