Visafone has signed an agreement with Research In Motion (RIM), makers of BlackBerry smartphones, for the launch of BlackBerry services in Nigeria on Visafone’s Code Division and Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile network.
The signing of the agreement recently in Lagos marks the first-time availability of CDMA BlackBerry smartphones in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, and it is a first in Nigeria.
In a joint press statement issued in Lagos, the partners said the BlackBerry Curve 9310, the BlackBerry Curve 9370 and the BlackBerry Bold 9930 smartphones were now available to customers from all the Visafone shops for pre-booking.
It explained that the launch would benefit any Visafone customer that wants access to email, Internet and social networking applicatios, including BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), Facebook, Twitter and Social Feeds.
The Regional Director for RIM in East, Central and West Africa, Mr. Waldi Wepener said “We are proud to support the Nigerian mobile industry with the first-time availability of CDMA BlackBerry smartphones in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Our partnership with Visafone demonstrates RIM’s commitment to working with key partners in Africa to bring the widest range of BlackBerry services to people that want to be connected across the continent.”
Chairman and Founder of Visafone, Mr. Jim Ovia said “The partnership represents a big step forward in Africa’s mobile history and we are very excited to be at the forefront of such a ground-breaking development in the Nigerian market. We have responded to our customers’ demands for BlackBerry services by being the first to provide them with a suite of CDMA-enabled BlackBerry smartphones that best meets the region’s growing mobile needs. More broadly, this launch is a major boost to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC’s) efforts to achieve growth of data usage and quality voice services to the country’s 105 million active mobile phone lines.”
The statement explained that the range of CDMA-enabled BlackBerry smartphones run on BlackBerry 7.1 OS, which introduces a next-generation BlackBerry browser that is among the best in the industry. Browsing results are up to 40 per cent faster than BlackBerry 6 smartphones and up to twice as fast as BlackBerry 5-based smartphones, the statement said.
It explained that the Near Frequency Communication (NFC)-enabled BlackBerry Bold 9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9370 smartphones on OS 7.1 both come with BlackBerry Tag which allows users to share contact information, documents, photos and other multimedia content by simply tapping their BlackBerry smartphones together. BlackBerry Tag also enables friends to instantly add one another as contacts on BBM.