Research In Motion

Research In Motion

May 15, 2006 11:00 ET

Etisalat and RIM Launch BlackBerry in the United Arab Emirates

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES and WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 15, 2006) - Emirates Telecommunications Corporation - Etisalat, the Middle East's leading telecommunications service provider and Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM), a leader in wireless innovation, today announced the launch of BlackBerry® to customers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Etisalat will be the first service provider to introduce the BlackBerry wireless platform in the Middle East Gulf region.

Etisalat will initially offer the BlackBerry 8700g™ and the BlackBerry 7290™ handsets. These devices provide an intuitive user experience with support for email, phone, text messaging, Internet, organizer and corporate data applications. These quad-band devices operate on Etisalat's GSM/GPRS network and, with Etisalat's more than 100 global roaming relationships, in more than 40 countries(a).

"The end-to-end BlackBerry solution is now launched in the UAE and fully supported through Etisalat," said Essa Al Haddad, Chief Marketing Officer for Etisalat. "Results from pilot testing show that the market in the UAE is ready for BlackBerry. We are confident that the BlackBerry solution we offer - the handheld devices, software, wireless services and on-site professional services - will all be embraced by the corporate and technology markets. BlackBerry from Etisalat will address the serious business needs of the UAE's high powered, and very mobile, corporate workforce."

"With more than five million subscribers today, BlackBerry is a popular and proven solution that continues to gain momentum around the world as organizations seek ways to keep their mobile employees connected to the information and communications important to their day. We are pleased to be working with Etisalat and EMS to offer BlackBerry in the UAE. This is a significant opportunity in one of the world's fastest growing economic centers," commented Charmaine Eggberry, Vice President, Enterprise Business Unit, Research In Motion.

The recently introduced BlackBerry 8700g features a completely re-engineered BlackBerry device platform that includes an Intel® XScale® cellular processor to deliver faster performance for web browsing, application use and attachment viewing. In addition, the BlackBerry 8700g provides a bright, high resolution LCD screen that supports more than 65,000 colors and delivers vivid graphics. It also incorporates an intelligent light-sensing technology that automatically adjusts the screen and keyboard lighting to provide optimized viewing in outdoor, indoor and dark environments. The BlackBerry 8700g also includes premium phone features such as dedicated 'send,' 'end' and 'mute' keys, smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing, call forwarding, speakerphone and Bluetooth® support for hands-free use with car kits and wireless headsets.

The BlackBerry 7290 delivers an excellent voice and data experience with Bluetooth and quad-band support, operating on the GSM/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 MHz frequencies. In addition, the BlackBerry 7290 features 32 MB flash memory and 4 SRAM, a bright LED backlight, as well as an optimized QWERTY keyboard style for easy dialing and typing. The high-resolution screen displays crisp images with support for more than 65,000 colors, while continuing to offer superior battery life for exceptional wireless performance.

The BlackBerry 8700g and BlackBerry 7290 operate in conjunction with BlackBerry Enterprise Server™, which tightly integrates with Microsoft® Exchange, Novell GroupWise® and IBM Lotus® Domino® and works with existing enterprise systems to enable secure, push-based wireless access to email and other corporate data.

To support the launch of BlackBerry, Etisalat has entered into a strategic partnership with Emitac Mobile Solutions (EMS), a Dubai-based mobile systems integrator and provider of wireless handheld business solutions. EMS will assist Etisalat in launching, delivering, supporting and selling BlackBerry from Etisalat in the UAE. Together, EMS and Etisalat will address the UAE market by delivering a suite of BlackBerry-enabled solutions to Etisalat's customers.

"We are proud that Etisalat is bringing BlackBerry to the region with a unique customer care component. Etisalat will pro-actively monitor BlackBerry usage within a corporate network, offering four levels of advanced customer care, including project management and on-site service within hours of an incoming call. We anticipate the success of BlackBerry here will mirror its success in other parts of the world. Information about the features of specific products, as well as pricing and roaming capabilities will be announced shortly," Mark Davis, Business Development Manager- Corporate, Etisalat.

Etisalat unveiled BlackBerry at the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), home to the world's newest, global trading partner. DIFX now links Dubai with the world's other financial centers in locations such as New York, London and Hong Kong, DIFC also participated in a BlackBerry pilot program from Etisalat and is the regional financial center between Western Europe and East Asia.

"With the strong economic growth in the region it is imperative for professionals in the United Arab Emirates to have the latest information at their fingertips anywhere and anytime," said Hanan Askalan, Chief Information Officer for the Dubai International Finance Exchange (DIFX). "The easy-to-use BlackBerry solution offered through Etisalat will only accelerate the region's growth as one of the top business and financial markets. BlackBerry is certainly a must-have tool for business and mobile professionals around the world and we are looking forward to adopting BlackBerry at the DIFX."

"We are very pleased that Etisalat has elected to work with EMS," said Derek Roga, CEO of EMS. "The EMS mission is to provide telecommunication service providers with an efficient method to rapidly deploy the BlackBerry wireless communications platform."

About Etisalat

Established in 1976, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation - Etisalat - is known as an innovative and reliable provider of telecommunications, Internet and related services in the UAE. The Corporation is ranked by Financial Times as one of the Top 500 companies in the world in terms of market capitalization, and the sixth largest in the Middle East. Business units and subsidiary companies provide Etisalat and clients with a whole range of services including voice, data, satellite, Internet, IT solutions and consulting, smart card manufacture, data clearing, submarine cables laying and maintenance and related telecommunications services. Etisalat serves over 4.76 mobile customers in the UAE, a penetration rate of over 100 per cent. In 2005, Etisalat announced revenues of AED 12.9bn, and net profits of AED 4.3bn. For more information about Etisalat please visit the Company website at

About EMS

Emitac Mobile Solutions (EMS) is a Dubai based solutions and service provider and RIM strategic channel partner focused on the delivery, implementation and support of BlackBerry® Solutions. Delivered by an experienced team of mobile professionals, EMS provides the mobile operator with sales, marketing, distribution, solution implementation and technical support services for the BlackBerry wireless platform from Research In Motion (RIM). For organizations using the BlackBerry wireless platform, EMS provides the ability to rapidly create, deploy and manage robust client-server wireless applications that reduce organizations total cost of ownership and significantly increase the value of their mobile technology investment. EMS is the region's first Mobile Virtual Solutions Provider (MVSP) whose services are delivered through partnerships the company has with mobile operators in the Gulf, North Africa and Eastern Europe. For more information about EMS please visit the Company website at

About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM's portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ:RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:RIM). For more information, visit or

(a) Check with Etisalat for roaming services. Roaming may be subject to local restrictions.

Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used herein, words such as "intend" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions made by and information available to Research In Motion Limited. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements include, without limitation, possible product defects and product liability, risks related to international sales and potential foreign currency exchange fluctuations, the initiation or outcome of litigation, acts or potential acts of terrorism, international conflicts, significant fluctuations of quarterly operating results, changes in Canadian and foreign laws and regulations, continued acceptance of RIM's products, increased levels of competition, technological changes and the successful development of new products, dependence on third-party networks to provide services, dependence on intellectual property rights and other risks and factors detailed from time to time in RIM's periodic reports filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory authorities. The Company has no intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM, Research In Motion and BlackBerry are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be pending or registered in other countries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. RIM assumes no liability and makes no representation, warranty or guarantee in relation to third party products or services.

Contact Information