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Press Release 2002

Nextel, RIM and Motorola Agree To Produce Voice-enabled Handheld for iDEN Networks

New Wireless Handheld will Combine the Power of BlackBerry with Nextel's Voice and Packet Data Network

Reston, VA, Waterloo, ON and Schaumburg, IL - Nextel Communications, Inc., Research In Motion Limited, and Motorola, Inc. today announced an agreement to develop a new Nextel/BlackBerry™ handheld with both voice and data capabilities. This Personal Data Assistant (PDA) style form factor handheld will operate on Nextel's national network using Motorola's iDEN® integrated digital wireless network technology.

To facilitate this effort, Motorola and RIM have signed a licensing agreement allowing specific iDEN and RIM technologies to be incorporated into certain devices from each company.

RIM's award-winning BlackBerry wireless email solution will be integrated with Nextel's digital cellular, Nextel Direct Connect® digital two-way radio service, text and numeric paging, and Nextel Wireless Web online services, which were recently rated number one by Cahner's In-Stat/MDR in customer satisfaction. The device will also support Java™ 2 Micro Edition (J2ME™) applications.

"The combined Nextel/BlackBerry device will provide an additional platform on which businesses can create meaningful and cost effective applications for their mobile employees," said Tim Donahue, Nextel's president and chief executive officer. "The wireless email capabilities of this exclusive device will complement our Direct Connect and packet data services, and serve as a powerful new business tool for our customers."

"RIM and Nextel have both developed unique wireless solutions for corporate customers," said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at Research In Motion. "This new integrated offering, together with our mutual commitment to Java-based wireless applications, will provide an innovative and attractive proposition for our business customers and development community."

"Motorola's iDEN technology gives Nextel the power to offer wireless voice, data and application services in a single device," said Bill Werner, corporate vice president of Motorola and general manager of the iDEN Subscriber Group. "Our agreement with RIM will allow Nextel to leverage the advanced capabilities of their nationwide iDEN network to offer customers the choice of a messaging centric device in addition to an existing array of voice centric Java-enabled handsets."

More than 13,000 organizations across North America already use BlackBerry to provide wireless email capabilities through an "always-on" connection, and RIM recently began marketing BlackBerry to customers in Europe. The Nextel/ BlackBerry offering will include advanced Java™-based wireless handhelds, desktop tools, enterprise server software, and end-to-end security. It will also operate fully on the Nextel National Network, the largest guaranteed all-digital wireless network in the country covering thousands of communities across the United States.

RIM and Nextel have signed a multi-year supply agreement for BlackBerry Wireless Handhelds with associated software and service. The new Nextel/BlackBerry product is scheduled for release sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nextel leads the industry in providing business customers with wireless data solutions that increase the productivity of the mobile workforce. Customer's within key vertical industry segments such as financial and information services, manufacturing and distribution, and many others will find the unique combination of native J2ME support, data security, messaging, and application management services a powerful platform for mobilizing corporate data and applications residing behind company firewalls.

About Research In Motion

Research In Motion Limited is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the mobile communications market. RIM's portfolio of award-winning products includes the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, the BlackBerry™ wireless email solution, embedded radio-modems and software development tools. 

About Nextel

Nextel Communications, Inc., based in Reston, Va., is a leading provider of fully integrated wireless communications services and has built the largest guaranteed all-digital wireless network in the country covering thousands of communities across the United States. Nextel and Nextel Partners Inc., currently serve 195 of the top 200 U.S. markets.

About Motorola

Motorola, Inc. is one of the global leaders in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2001 were $30 billion. Today, more than 10 million iDEN handsets are in service in North America. iDEN handsets combine the capabilities of a digital wireless phone with "always on" Internet access, text pager, and two-way radio to enable users to instantly communicate with one or hundreds of individuals at the push of a button. 


For more information: http://www.rim.net   http://www.nextel.com  http://www.motorola.com/iden.

Mobileinfo Comments & Advisory: This is a very interesting development in a number of ways. Firstly, it appears that Motorola has conceded superiority of Blackberry solution to its own efforts in this space. It is also signaling convergence of voice and data in a single instant-on communicator. There are a number of hybrid devices but this one could be a winner, if properly executed. Nextel's expertise in voice-based dispatch services for public safety, taxi dispatch and other applications (old SMR and ESMR)  is well recognized. We think that this is an excellent move for a number of vertical applications - EMS, fire and law enforcement. 

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