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Visafone, RIM Rev Up Nigeria’s Smartphone Market

Visafone and BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion (RIM) on Wednesday signed an agreement for the launch of BlackBerry® services on Visafone’s Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile network. The move,

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قديم 10-26-2012, 10:42 PM
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افتراضي Visafone, RIM Rev Up Nigeria’s Smartphone Market

Visafone and BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion (RIM) on Wednesday signed an agreement for the launch of BlackBerry® services on Visafone’s Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile network. The move, according to industry analysts, is aimed at raising Visafone’s stake in the Smartphone and data segment of Nigeria’s telecommunications market.

The agreement marks another milestone in Nigeria’s highly competitive market, with Visafone becoming the first carrier to introduce CDMA - enabled BlackBerry smartphones in Africa and the Middle East, said Jim Ovia, chairman of Visafone at the launch in Lagos.

The introduction of the Blackberry services, according to Ovia, is a critical part of Visafone’s data strategy.

“This partnership represents a big step forward in Africa’s mobile history and we are excited to be at the forefront of such a ground-breaking development in Nigeria. We have responded to our customers’ demands for Blackberry services by being the first to provide them with a suite of CDMA-enabled BlackBerry smartphones that best meet the region’s growing mobile needs”, he said.

But more broadly, the launch, Ovia said is a significant boost to the telecoms regulator’s efforts to spur growth of data usage amongst the country’s over 101 million active mobile lines.

The CDMA operator is launching three Blackberry smartphones on its network, namely: Curve 9310, Curve 9370 and Bold 9930 devices.

Visafone and RIM said the devices would be available to customers in all 88 Visafone shops nationwide, for pre-booking from Monday, October 29.

Ovia further explained that the launch would benefit any Visafone customer that wants access to email, Internet and social networking apps, including BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™), Facebook®, Twitter™ and Social Feeds.

Speaking in the same vein, Waldi Wepener, regional director for RIM in East, Central and West Africa, said: “We are proud to support the Nigerian mobile industry with the first-time availability of CDMA BlackBerry smartphones in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Our partnership with Visafone demonstrates RIM’s commitment to working with key partners in Africa, to bring the widest range of services to people that want to be connected across the continent.”

The range of CDMA-enabled BlackBerry smartphones, according to Wepener, will run on BB 7.1 Operating System (OS), which introduces a next-generation browser - one of the best in the Industry.

Browsing results are up to 40 percent faster than BlackBerry® 6 smartphones and up to twice as fast as BlackBerry® 5-based smartphones.

He said that the NFC (Near Field Communications) - enabled Bold 9930 and Curve 9370 smartphones on OS 7.1 both come with BlackBerry® Tag which allows users to share contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia content by simply tapping their BlackBerry smartphones together. BlackBerry Tag also enables friends to instantly add one another as contacts on BBM.

“All the new BlackBerry smartphones can be used as mobile hotspots so that other Wi-Fi enabled devices can use the mobile network connection on the smartphone.”, Wepener said.


Visafone, RIM Rev Up Nigeria’s Smartphone Market

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