Rogers and Research in Motion Announce the UMA-enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8120 Smartphone

By Kevin Michaluk on 4 Jun 2008 08:57 am EDT
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Rogers BlackBerry Pearl 8120 Smartphone

We have known this was coming for a while now, so it's nice to see it get all official. Rogers and RIM announced this morning the launch of the UMA-enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8120 Smartphone. This is the first UMA-enabled BlackBerry to hit Canadian soil, and will allow consumers to take advantage of Rogers' recently-launched Home Calling Zone UMA-based service.

With Rogers Home Calling Zone, customers can use the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 to make unlimited voice calls, when in their home calling zone. For $15 per month customers can make unlimited local calls, or for $20 per month customers can make unlimited local and Canada-wide long distance calls. Calls seamlessly transfer between UMA and cellular networks, and calls originating over UMA do not count against a customer's monthly allotment of voice minutes.

As a Rogers customer, I have to say this is a pretty tempting phone for me to go and buy. The cost-savings of the Rogers Home Calling Zone would be significant. It's enough to make me trade in my Curve. BUT... Rogers should launch the BlackBerry Bold in the next month. The Rogers Bold will likely not be UMA-enabled. So what to do? Save money, or have the latest and greatest?? I'm leaning towards the latest and greatest..

For more details, read the Full Press Release after the jump!

PRESS RELEASE

Rogers and RIM Launch the UMA-Enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8120 Smartphone

With Rogers Home Calling Zone, a wireless router and a high-speed Internet connection, customers can use the same phone inside and outside the home

TORONTO, ONTARIO and WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 4, 2008) - Rogers Wireless (TSX:RCI)(NYSE:RCI) and Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today introduced the new BlackBerry(R) Pearl(TM) 8120 smartphone to customers in Canada. The new smartphone supports Rogers Home Calling Zone, a UMA(i)-based service from Rogers that enables customers to make unlimited voice calls over a wireless Internet connection(ii). Rogers is the first carrier in Canada to offer UMA services with its new Rogers Home Calling Zone.

The new service leverages the dual-mode Wi-Fi(R) and cellular capabilities of the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smartphone for both cellular and home calling. Rogers Home Calling Zone works by connecting calls through a voice optimized wireless router over a high-speed Internet connection when at home and can seamlessly switch to the cellular network when out of range - offering seamless mobility and the ultimate in convenience. Customers can use the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smartphone inside and outside the home, making it easier to stay connected how and when they want, while effectively managing their phone costs.

"Rogers Wireless is proud to add the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 to our extensive lineup of BlackBerry phones, and especially to our innovative Home Calling Zone service, a Canadian first," said John Boynton, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Wireless. "With the UMA-enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8120, not only will our customers have the benefits of RIM's world-renowned push email solution, they can also experience the flexibility and convenience using their BlackBerry phone for both home and away, with Rogers Home Calling Zone."

"In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity for both voice and data, the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smartphone offers rich multimedia features and the industry's leading mobile messaging capabilities in an amazingly compact and stylish design," said Mark Guibert, Vice President, Corporate Marketing at Research In Motion. "The Rogers Home Calling Zone service adds another valuable dimension to the customer experience and helps make the new BlackBerry Pearl 8120 an ideal phone for both personal and business use."

Available in an attractive titanium-coloured finish, the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smartphone from Rogers features:

  • An ultra-sleek design measuring 107mm x 50mm x 14mm and weighing approximately 91 grams
  • Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) with support for Rogers Home Calling Zone service
  • 2 megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom, built-in flash and video recording capability
  • Advanced media player perfect for pictures, music and videos, and support for High Speed USB 2.0 for quickly transferring files between a PC and the smartphone
  • An externally accessible microSD/SDHC expandable memory slot for additional storage (8GB microSDHC cards are now available)
  • Support for downloading music directly from the Rogers MusicStore
  • The Rogers Do More portal enabling access to a variety of mobile applications for business and personal use
  • Instant messaging with BlackBerry(R) Messenger, Google(R) Talk and Yahoo!(R) Messenger
  • Support for the Facebook(R) for BlackBerry(R) Smartphones application, which enables fast, streamlined and optimized mobile access to the popular Facebook social utility
  • DataViz(R) Documents to Go(R) allowing users to edit Word and PowerPoint files on the handset
  • An enhanced visual interface that makes text and web pages more visually appealing
  • Premium phone features including enhanced noise cancellation to offset background noise, a low-distortion speakerphone, and Bluetooth(R) (2.0) support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and other Bluetooth peripherals
  • SureType(TM) keyboard system, including new word completion and spell check features
  • BlackBerry(R) Desktop Manager software, which includes Roxio(R) Media Manager for BlackBerry(R), a powerful media manager application that allows users to easily manage media files on their computer and transfer them to the smartphone
  • BlackBerry(R) Internet Service support that allows access to up to 10 supported personal and corporate email accounts, including most popular ISP email accounts
  • BlackBerry(R) Enterprise Server support for enterprise deployments with advanced security and IT controls

The BlackBerry Pearl 8120 from Rogers Wireless also comes with a variety of in-box accessories including stereo headset, travel charger and 1GB microSD memory card.

Rogers Home Calling Zone

With Rogers Home Calling Zone, customers can use the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 to make unlimited voice calls, when in their home calling zone. For $15 per month customers can make unlimited local calls, or for $20 per month customers can make unlimited local and Canada-wide long distance calls. Calls seamlessly transfer between UMA and cellular networks, and calls originating over UMA do not count against a customer's monthly allotment of voice minutes.

Pricing & Availability

The BlackBerry Pearl 8120 retails for $249.99 with activation on any combination of 3 year voice plan and 3 year BlackBerry data plan from Rogers. Some conditions apply. For more information on the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smartphone, please visit www.blackberrypearl.com or www.rogers.com/8120. For more information on Rogers Home Calling Zone service, please visit www.rogers.com/homecallingzone. (i)Unlicensed Mobile Access (ii)Unlimited voice calls over a wireless Internet connection requires a Rogers Wireless voice plan, Rogers Home Zone Calling service option and a wireless router with a broadband Internet connection.

Topics: Devices

Reader comments

Rogers and Research in Motion Announce the UMA-enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8120 Smartphone

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Yeah. The Bold will have WiFi, but I don't think Rogers will enable UMA on it.

Rogers is pushing UMA/Home Calling Zone as a consumer service, and the Bold will still be going out to a lot of enterprise channels. I don't think Rogers will be putting out an 8320 on UMA either anytime soon. That's their way of keeping UMA for the consumers is by only offering the Pearl on it.

Hrm.. interesting. I wonder if UMA is a carrier or device controlled thing. If it was a device type of thing, it would tempt me to get an unlocked Bold, but that would be a hefty premium to pay due to the huge subsidy I would get from rogers if i bought it from work.

"In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity for both voice and data, ..."

John Boynton, SVP and Chief Marketing Officers comment implies both Voice and data will benefit from UMA. Only voice traffic will be unlimited, we will be hosting the data stream and paying the World's highest data rates for the privilege.

Brilliant!

with programs like iskoot and others becoming more available on BB - i hope rogers can see that at least they can charge something for UMA. it would be a real shame to restrain to potential of the bold just to keep revenues as high as possible.
if the BB bold doesnt offer UMA - its going to be a real deal-breaker for some.

For Crying out loud, why do the carriers have to milk every last dollar they can out of their antiquated service plans before finally giving into what their customers are begging for.

I'm guessing that since access to the UMA service will be locked up tighter than fort knox that i will not be able to use it with the Rogers 8320 that i bought directly from RIM.

Bah i say

Bah!!!!