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RIM, Verizon prep CDMA BlackBerry

Device maker Research In Motion and cellular carrier Verizon Wireless have been working to release a BlackBerry handheld running on CDMA (code division multiple access) networks. The device, called the BlackBerry 6750, will be available in the second quarter of 2003, the companies said this week at the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association show in New Orleans. RIM received grant approval for the BlackBerry 6750 from the Federal Communications Commission on Feb. 20. The BlackBerry 6750 doubles as a device that can wirelessly send and receive e-mail and make cell phone calls.

The device should help RIM lure top cell phone operators in the United States. Two of the top three carriers in the United States, Verizon Wireless and Sprint PCS, operate CDMA networks.