Rogers Communication Inc. (RCI - Free Report) , one of the leading telecom carriers of Canada, announced that the QWERTY-based version of Research In Motion Limited’s (BBRY - Free Report) BB10 OS (operating system) handsets will soon be available on its network. This will make Rogers the first telecom operator in Canada to launch Q10.
Rogers has not declared any specific launch date, pre-orders for which have started coming in. Q10 customers will benefit from Rogers’ superfast LTE (long Term Evolution) network that will allow them to watch live matches, download HD movies and stream videos faster.
The smartphones will be available in black and white, with limited-time offer for the white one, and will cost $199.99 with select three-year plans. However, rival carrier, Telus Corporation also announced to launch the phone by the end of Apr, which also shares a similar price tag to that of Rogers’.
BBRY launched its much-awaited BB10 operating system (OS)-based device on Jan 30, 2013 to counter the continuous market share loss to Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) iPhone and other smartphones running on Google Inc.’s Android platform.
BBRY has started selling the touchscreen version (Z10) of its smartphone in 25 countries and has received good response in Canada and U.K. However, according to a media report, demand has fizzled out in most of the countries and even the U.S. launch has failed to create any significant result.
Recently, Rogers declared that it will expand its superfast LTE (Long Term Evolution) network to 44 new markets this spring and will extend further to 95 markets by the end of 2013. Rogers has more LTE network deployed in the 2600 MHz spectrum than any other carrier in Canada, which will allow its customers to garner a maximum network speed of 150 Mbps (Megabits per second).
Q10 shares some of the Z10 features like BlackBerry Hub, Flow, Balance in addition to its existing BlackBerry Messenger service. BlackBerry Hub enables the customers to check and manage all their recent updates in one place while Balance segregates between professional work applications and personal content.
We believe that the availability of Q10 on Rogers’ expanded LTE network will provide the much-needed push to the falling sales momentum of its latest BB10 OS-based device. Q10, which is based on BlackBerry’s popular QWERTY keyboard model coupled with Rogers’ industry-leading LTE coverage, will be able to attract a wider customer base in Canada.
Rogers Communications currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).