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First BlackBerry contract sold in Russia

Darren Murph

Well, what do you know? We heard that RIM was gearing up to ship BlackBerry handsets to Russia in 2008, and lo and behold, the addiction is indeed sliding over to the world's largest country. British American Tobacco became the first client of BlackBerry service in the nation, and it's being provided by the beautifully-named Vimpelcom. As expected, Vimpelcom's customers will be handed the same 8700g model that was introduced to Chinese users when RIM broke into that territory last July. As it stands, the aforesaid operator is already in talks with some 40 more potential corporate clients, and rival Mobile TeleSystems is also getting set to unleash BB service with 30 corporate clients. Kudos, Russia -- prepare for splintered relationships, 24 hour work days and a feeling of anxiety you can't even fathom when service collapses for even a moment.

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