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Repeat: Russia's MTS to launch BlackBerry service in late April


MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - MTS will offer BlackBerry, a leading wireless platform, to individual Russian subscribers by late April, the president of Russia's largest mobile phone operator announced.

"We will launch it in two weeks," Mikhail Shamolin said.

BlackBerry is a popular wireless solution enabling its users "to easily access e-mail, phone, text messaging, Internet, organizer and corporate data applications from a single, integrated device," the U.S. company said on its website.

Russia's Federal Security Service agreed the service provisions with BlackAerry in November 2007, to confirm they complied with Russian legal requirements.

MTS and its major rival VimpelCom obtained licenses to import BlackBerry handsets into Russia in February 2008. After receiving approval from all regulators, MTS launched BlackBerry for corporate clients in June 2008.

MTS Spokesperson Irina Osadchaya said some 500 large corporate customers in Russia were currently using BlackBerry.

VimpelCom, which runs the Beeline brand, is not planning to offer BlackBerry services to individuals.

"We are planning to concentrate on developing BlackBerry service for corporate clients," VimpelCom spokesperson Kseniya Korneyeva said.

MegaFon, Russia's third-largest cellular phone operator, launched MegaSync, an analogue of Blackberry, in December 2007.

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