BlackBerry adds Wi-Fi to new model

Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the first dual-mode BlackBerry device, which can provide voice and data services over both cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

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Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the first dual-mode Blackberry device, which can provide voice and data services over both cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

Scheduled to become available in the US through AT&T this summer, the BlackBerry 8820 includes a full Qwerty keyboard, a 320-by-240-pixel display, a trackball navigation system and built-in GPS support. Pricing hasn't been announced.

The new device switches "seamlessly" between cellular networks and Wi-Fi networks based on the 802.11a/b/g standards, RIM said.

Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said that "when RIM does something, it usually works well." But he said it was unclear how many BlackBerry would start using Wi-Fi networks for voice calls to bypass their cellular carriers.

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