Hands on BT Cellnet’s BlackBerry

Plenty of devices allow you to send and receive e-mails on the move but
none, in our experience, do so with the ease, speed and consistency of BT
Cellnet’s wireless BlackBerry.

To receive mail from remote locations, users usually have to dial into their
corporate mailbox, but BlackBerry’s software forwards mail direct to the

Wireless means exactly what it says – there is no need to plug BlackBerry
into a phone line because the service runs across a General Packet Radio
Service (GPRS) wireless network and provides a constant link to the corporate
e-mail server. So once you’ve logged on, you are accessing your inbox just as
you would in the office, and are free to write, receive, forward, file and
delete messages (it uses Microsoft Exchange which should suit most corporate
environments but your company software will need to be configured when you
first install the system).

BlackBerry, designed by US company Research in Motion, slips easily into a
pocket, and while the keyboard seems small at first, it doesn’t take long to
get used to. A trackwheel allows the user to scroll and select menu options and
a 55x55mm sq display is plenty big enough for reading and writing. The service
uses Triple DES (64kb) encryption to ensure e-mails are secure at both ends. It
also offers dairy, calendar, memo and other personal organiser-style

Aimed at the corporate user, BlackBerry costs between £359 and £399
(depending on number purchased) and the licence for the server software, which
covers the first 20, is £2,500. Airtime is charged at £39 per device a month.


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