NIH Blackberry Hardware and Service Provider Options
Please note: The IC EO and NIH Chief Information Officer (CIO) must approve all exceptions to procuring the HHS-standard PDA device. Exception requests must include documentation that supports the reason why the RIM Blackberry cannot fulfill the requirement. See Blackberry Acquisition Procedures and Purchasing Information.
NIH staff members are stongly encouraged to discuss their requirements with their IT support staff.
- RIM Blackberry 7200 series
The RIM Blackberry 7200 series has a color screen which makes web-based applications much easier to use. The 7200 series device can be used even if a phone is not required. Simply choose not to activate a voice plan (a phone number will be assigned to the device even without a voice plan). Making and receiving phone calls will be very expensive without a voice plan. The phone application can be removed from the device to ensure that telephone calls will not be placed or received. The 7200 series run on the GPRS network and can be used internationally.
- RIM Blackberry 6710
The RIM Blackberry 6710, as with the 7200, uses either AT&T's or T-Mobile's GPRS network. It can also be used even if a phone is not required. Simply choose not to activate a voice plan. This device can be used internationally since it uses a GPRS network.
- RIM Blackberry 6200 series
The 6200 series uses either AT&T's or T-Mobile's GPRS network. The screen is smaller that the 957 and the 6710, and the device has a longer battery life than the 6710 devices.
- RIM 6510 from Nextel (currently under negotiation, details will be posted when they are available). This model uses Nextel's iDEN network, and provides a "push-to-talk" feature.
- RIM 6750 from Verizon (currently under negotiation, details will be posted when they are available). This uses Verizon's CDMA2000 network. Verizon is the only carrier that provides service to Washington D.C. Metrorail underground locations.
- RIM Blackberry 950/957 or 850/857
- The 850 or 950 models uses an "AA" battery instead of relying on a rechargeable battery. One example of when a standard battery might be important is if staff is required to spend extended time away from a source of electricity.
- The 950/957 model uses the Mobitex network.
- The 850/857 model uses the DataTAC network.
- GRPS. The General Radio Packet Services networks are offered in the United Stated by AT&T and T-Mobile. This network standard is also widely available in Europe and Asia, although coverage depends on roaming agreements.
- The CDMA2000 network is the sucessor to the CDMA networks that have been built extensively over the past several years. CDMA2000 will provide a significant increase in bandwidth for data (such as email and web browsing).
- Mobitex network currently offers a very wide range of coverage (see http://www.mobitex.org/resources/uscompare.html). If an area is not already covered then it will not be in the future; the Mobitex network is not being built out any further.
- DataTAC network. This network can provide coverage to questionable areas (e.g. Fairbanks, Alaska or San Juan, Puerto Rico). A DataTAC coverage map is available at http://www.motient.com/find/default.asp. The DataTAC network support the 850/857 legacy devices.