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T-Mobile to offer one-payment BlackBerry contract


LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) - Operator T-Mobile UK is to offer a BlackBerry phone with a year's unlimited email and Internet access and pay-as-you-go calls in exchange for a one-off fee in its bid to lure more small business and young customers.

Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile, which has struggled against the likes of Vodafone (VOD.L) and Telefonica's (TEF.MC) O2 in the fiercely competitive British market said its one-off fee of 179.99 pounds was the first one of its kind in Britain.

The company said it was designed to appeal to customers who fear ringing up unexpected costs by surfing on the Internet through their mobile phone.

Research In Motion's (RIM.TO) BlackBerry has also been targeting more general customers, and not just the business community, with its offer of emails, Internet and access to social networks on the go.

Under the offer, which will be available in T-Mobile stores from May 1, users will get a silver-coloured BlackBerry Pearl 8110 phone, which includes a 2 mega pixel camera and in-built GPS.

"Our innovative new pay once concept means that a whole new group of customers can take advantage of the fantastic features of a BlackBerry smartphone without the commitment of a monthly contract and without worrying about how much data they are using," said Richard Warmsley, head of Internet and Entertainment at T-Mobile UK.

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