Sprint customers can now get the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, a smartphone that allows its users to roam internationally.
The most significant feature of this device is its ability to operate on both GSM and CDMA wireless networks. Because Sprint uses the CDMA networking standard, while much of the world uses GSM, Sprint customers generally can't use their phones when they are out of the country. Because the 8830 supports both standards, users will be able to make voice calls and get their email outside of the United States.
"By offering the BlackBerry 8830 with an unlocked SIM capability customers can sign up for competitive international service plans directly from Sprint or take advantage of service from local providers in other countries," said Danny Bowman, vice president of customer equipment for Sprint.
This BlackBerry is available now from Sprint's web site and through its business channels. Retail stores will begin offering it in mid-July.
It costs $200 after a $100 mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract.
Sprint has also created the Worldwide BlackBerry plan for this device. For $70 a month, customers get unlimited BlackBerry email and web access in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico using CDMA technology and with GSM/GPRS carriers abroad where Sprint has applicable roaming agreements. Sprint's international voice roaming rates range from 59 cents to $4.99 per minute, depending on where customers are calling.
The 8830 is also available from Verizon. Those who purchase it from this carrier's web site can get it for $100 with a two-year contract and after a $100 online discount and $100 mail in rebate.