Research in Motion
said Tuesday it plans to launch BlackBerry Internet service and BlackBerry smartphones in partnership with
for small to medium-sized businesses and professional consumers in China.
The partnership will see Research In Motion introduce a BlackBerry handset running on the Chinese-developed, third-generation mobile-phone TD-SCDMA technology which China Mobile currently operates.
To run at 3G speeds on China Mobile's network, the BlackBerry had to be redesigned to run on the TD-SCDMA standard, the
Wall Street Journal
reports. RIM successfully demonstrated such a handset Tuesday.
"We view China as a strategic market, the largest wireless market in the world. And China Mobile is by far the largest mobile carrier in the world," RIM Co-CEO Jim Basillie said at a press briefing.
BlackBerry Internet service is expected to be available from China Mobile in 2010.
"In addition to growing the established enterprise market, we also plan to offer BlackBerry Internet service to individuals and SMBs in China," said Wang Jianzhou, chairman and CEO of China Mobile.
RIM signed a distribution partnership Monday with
Digital China Holdings
for BlackBerry smartphones.
, meanwhile, reports that China Mobile has said repeatedly it is in talks with
to offer the iPhone in China, but Wang declined to comment for the newspaper.
also has said it is in talks with RIM to offer the BlackBerry in China.