Blackberry 8820 Goes WiFi, Provides Digital Welfare
Blackberry finally gets WiFi on a dual phone, but will Crackberry addicts really care?
Research in Motion has just announced features for its Blackberry 8820, the thinnest Blackberry yet. The 8820 is a dual mode phone that can take advantage of a GAN network (Generic Access Network). It's an amazing technology that allows you to roam seamlessly between WiFi 802.11 a/b/g and GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks.
So, if your mobile service provider supports GAN you can use the Blackberry 8820 to talk on the phone in a WiFi hotspot using your provider's Internet to telecomm service. If you walk out of range of the WiFi signal, your conversation will be flawlessly transferred to GSM/EDGE. It seems like an amazing technology, but I'd like to hear from you just how perfect it really is. Remember that GAN is supported through your mobile network carrier, so the seamlessness of the convergence will rely on the strength of the mobile signal.
New features to Blackberry found in the 8820 include a microSDHC and microSD slot capable of holding up to 32GB of memory. Although currently you'll only find memory cards up to 4GB, with the 8820 you're ready for those future super memory cards. You'll be able to put all that memory to good use because the 8820 includes a media player and a built-in GPS.
True to Blackberry's pedigree, this is a business communications phone first. It's so full of messaging and push email features that you may never feel lonely again. To the average mobile phone consumer, WiFi is a great feature that offers a cost-effective way to get data communications. Why would anybody in their right mind pay digital network fees to look up the name of that old time comedian that appeared in Casino? Let's face it - that's the real reason you want a digital network PDA with a browser. (The answer is Don Rickles, btw.)
Most Blackberry users have their handsets provided through work, so they probably have no guilt looking up sports scores on company-provided bandwidth. The addition of WiFi probably means little to the average user, but it's going to be a great cost savings for their companies – unless, of course, it happens to be a mobile network company. Then you only see WiFi as digital welfare.
Mobile networks like AT&T, Verizon and Rogers in
I use a handset with WiFi and I love it. I can look up the most irrelevant trivia anytime I'm in range of a WiFi hotspot. But when I'm in a downtown area using municipal WiFi coverage those tax dollars are cutting into AT&T profits. It can only be digital welfare as far as the mobile phone companies are concerned.