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Blackberry coming to South Korea after rule change
Local wireless provider SK Telecom Co. and Canada's Research in Motion Ltd., manufacturer of the popular smart phone, will market the Blackberry Bold 9000 for corporate use later this month on the South Korean company's mobile network, SK Telecom spokeswoman Lauren Kim said Thursday.
Use of the Blackberry and other foreign smart phones has been hampered by a South Korean rule that required all mobile devices to carry special software adapted to South Korea's wireless internet platform. An exception to the rule was made earlier this year, paving the way for the Blackberry's arrival.
The Korean Communications Commission announced Wednesday that the requirement will be abolished from April 1, which could entice foreign smart phone makers — which have shied away because of the extra cost involved in modifying their phones — to enter South Korea.
It is not impossible to use a Blackberry in South Korea. Some foreign businesses that operate in the country have set up accounts with providers in Hong Kong and had their employees use them in South Korea by utilizing the roaming function.
Kim said that the ability to finally use a Blackberry on a local mobile network is causing a buzz among potential users.
"We're looking at a fairly good amount of customers even at the beginning of the launch," she said.
Kim said Seoul-based SK Telecom and RIM, headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, plan to hold an official launch for the phone on Tuesday.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the phone will go on the market on Dec. 29, though Kim said she could not give an exact date. Kim also said that there were no definite plans at the moment for marketing it to individuals from April 1.
They created the CDMA network? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SK_Telecom
In October 2000, SK Telecom became the second operator in the world behind NTT's DoCoMo to launch a commercial 3G service using W-CDMA technology. In January 2002, this was followed up by launching the world's first CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network, offering greatly increased data transmission speeds.
Since being established on March 29, 1984 the company evolved from a first generation analogue cellular system, to second generation CDMA, then to the world's first third generation synchronized IMT-2000 cellular system. SK Telecom also became the world’s first to commercialize HSDPA in May, 2006.
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