GSM carriers in North America have always held an edge for trans-oceanic-bound North America-based travelers because their phones will also work in Europe and Asia. The only caveat for Europeans visiting North America was that they needed to have phones that support the 850 MHz band to obtain the most complete coverage while in North America.
So when Verizon and Sprint yesterday introduced a new Blackberry 8830 that provides CDMA support in North America and GSM support elsewhere, why does it get the name "World Edition" or why does Verizon have the right to call their branded version a "Global Blackberry"?
Seems like the "prior rights" for these names should belong to the pure quad-band GSM Blacbkerries, such as the Pearl (8100), 8700 and 8800 supported by Rogers, AT&T (Cingular) and T-Mobile in North America. My 8700 was pretty good at automatically announcing, via a Rogers service SMS message, that I had arrived in the U.S., Germany, Belgium, France and the U.K. last month.
A couple of comments:
- The Blackberry 8830 only supports the non-North American 900 and 1800 MHz bands; thus, they will not work on North American GSM carriers’ networks
- The Blackberry 8830 is a good announcement for Bell Canada and at least counters one concern that I had in discussing Bell Canada’s dilemma last week. And they don’t have to do a North American GSM overlay to accomplish global reach for their customers; strike off one cost for whoever becomes their new owners..
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