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Balsillie Hops On The Wi-Fi Bandwagon

By Kevin Hill on 25 May 2007 10:04 am EDT

jim balsillieJim Balsillie, RIM co-CEO and potential owner of the Nashville Predators hockey team, was the keynote speaker at the 35th Annual JP Morgan Technology Conference, which opened in Boston, on Wednesday.

Balsillie’s speech focused on the arrival of Wi-Fi and the proposed introduction of a “converged Wi-Fi BlackBerry by the back end of this year.”

The reluctance of some companies, including RIM, to get fully behind Wi-Fi was, as Balsillie explains it, because it was over-hyped. RIM is behind its competitors in developing devices with both cellular and Wi-Fi. Motorola Inc. and Nokia Corp. are already selling phones with Wi-Fi and cellular aimed at business users.

"Wi-Fi was overhyped," Balsillie said. "I was not a big believer in it for the first two or three years because it was hyped as something that would subsume everything, that you would get rid of your cell phone. We feel it's complimentary of a cell phone."

But it has hung around and now RIM is ready to embrace the concept and catch up to the rest of the field the field.

You can listen to the entire speech via podcast here .

Topics: News & Rumors

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