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RIM to give BlackBerry a Voice

In Europe, the BlackBerry will run on the voice network known as GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications). As a result, adding the ability to make cell phone calls will be as simple as offering a software download and plugging in an earphone similar to the hands-free attachments for cell phones.

“It’s just another icon on the screen,” said Dennis Kavelman, chief financial officer of Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry.

RIM is working with BT Cellnet, a wireless offshoot of British Telecom, to offer the BlackBerry in Europe. The unit will use the emerging General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) standard, which moves data at high speeds over the GSM phone network. When it first launches, the BlackBerry will offer only data, but adding voice should be a snap, Kavelman said.

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