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BlackBerry Bursts Into Tico Market

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) have announced an agreement to introduce BlackBerry handheld wireless service in Costa Rica.

The devices, developed and marketed by the Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, are famous for their many capabilities. BlackBerry users can use their handhelds to send and receive e-mail, surf the Web, text message and fax, in addition to making mobile-phone calls.

The apparatus works in conjunction with various cellular companies, soon to include ICE. Service begins this month. An exact date has not been set, Ana Cristina Rojas, who serves as press agent for RIM in Costa Rica, told The Tico Times.

BlackBerry devices also work offline as a personal data assistant (PDA) and camera. Many of its tasks are accomplished via a small built-in keyboard operated with only the thumb. The device’s users call the process “thumbing.”

Two models will be available in Costa Rica.

The BlackBerry Curve 8320 is the lightest of the BlackBerry line with full QWERTY-size keyboard. The narrower BlackBerry Pearl 8120 combines number and letter keys.

Both models detect and access wireless Internet connections.

ICE will offer two levels of service.

The Empresarial package is geared to large corporations. Activation of service runs approximately $730, a price that includes the BlackBerry device. For those who already own an apparatus, that initial fee drops to $23. Monthly fees are $23.

Uso Personal service is designed for individuals and small- or medium-sized businesses. Activation plus device runs $685. Initial fees for those who already own a device is $23. Monthly fees are $18.

–Jeffrey Van Fleet



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