Nokia licenses BlackBerry software

Nokia has agreed to license the BlackBerry wireless e-mail software developed by Research In Motion (RIM) in a move to simplify...

Nokia has agreed to license the BlackBerry wireless e-mail software developed by Research In Motion (RIM) in a move to simplify messaging services for corporate customers.

The manufacturer of mobile handsets will integrate BlackBerry software in a range of devices aimed at enterprise users.

Nokia declined to say which products would include the software and when they would be available, or provide financial details of the agreement.

"We have signed a non-exclusive deal to use proprietary BlackBerry software because we support open standards and do not want to lock ourselves into any one system," said Nokia spokesman Damian Stathonikos. "BlackBerry offers certain advantages, such as e-mail forwarding, that we would like to provide to our corporate customers."

BlackBerry software supports various enterprise requirements, such as back-end integration, end-to-end security and push-based wireless applications. The software is also at the heart of BlackBerry-branded wireless devices already available in Australia, Europe, Hong Kong and the US.

In recent months RIM has signed agreements with mobile phone companies in Europe and the US. The company has now embarked on an ambitious Asia expansion strategy.

"One of the main features of BlackBerry software is its push function, allowing the e-mail of corporate users to be sent automatically to their handheld devices," Stathonikos said. "Forwarding attachments is also possible."

Many Nokia products already offer e-mail capability - but with limitations. Users can send a text message using Short Message Service (SMS) to a special number for conversion or can dial into a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) portal to manage their e-mail.

In addition, the Nokia Communicator and the company's new Java-enabled 6800 handset support the three most popular e-mail standards used by enterprises: Internet Message Access Protocol 4 (IMAP4), Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

Stathonikos declined to say whether BlackBerry software would be integrated into these products.

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