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It's all about location for RIM, Nextel

RIM, Nextel team to provide location-based services for the BlackBerry service and devices.

For Research In Motion and Nextel, it's about location, location, location.

The companies announced Thursday that they will work to bring location-based services to RIM's BlackBerry handhelds, always-on wireless devices commonly used for messaging, e-mail and corporate data access. Software developers will be given resources--such as GPS-enabled devices and development tools--to create software meant to help companies using BlackBerry technology better manage and track assets.

"The need to better manage company assets, combined with what is an increasingly mobile work force, makes location-based services an important business requirement," Danny Bowman, vice president of wireless data services at Nextel, said in a release. "The combination of the BlackBerry handheld and location-based services can help improve business efficiency by providing the ability to determine the location of employees, a company's vehicles and inventory."

Software already in development provides real-time driving directions and makes it easier to track inventory. The companies have been working together since late 2002, targeting a corporate audience.

RIM recently announced that it has hit the 2 million mark for subscribers to its BlackBerry service.

Meanwhile, the company is awaiting a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals on a patent infringement case brought against it by NTP.