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BlackBerry goes international

Research In Motion and Verizon Wireless unveil a BlackBerry designed to keep a traveler connected in more than 60 countries. Photo: Globe-trotting BlackBerry

Research In Motion and Verizon Wireless unveiled on Wednesday a BlackBerry "World Edition" smart phone and service designed to work in more than 60 countries.

The BlackBerry 8830 combines CDMA and GSM/GPRS roaming support and is designed to connect to Verizon's new Global BlackBerry service. Verizon plans to begin offering the device through its business sales channel May 14 and at its retail stores two weeks later.

Verizon's Global BlackBerry service will feature a local number for domestic and international use in Australia and Europe, and in portions of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. The service provides constant connectivity for the device's wireless e-mail, contacts, calendar, organizer and Internet access.

The BlackBerry 8830 ties to an EV-DO/GPRS network for high-speed data transfers. GSM/GPRS service provides constant voice and e-mail while traveling in foreign countries. Other features include a media player, Bluetooth connectivity and a new trackball navigation system.

The smart phone will be priced at $399, according to the companies. But people who sign up for a two-year customer contract from Verizon will get a $100 rebate. An additional $100 credit may be applied toward the purchase when concurrently signing up for specific voice and data plans.