RIM to bring 4G to PlayBook in second half of the year

When Research in Motion adds cellular data to its PlayBook tablet device in the second half of the year, it will commit to higher speed technologies according to statements at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. A WiMAX version is set to by sold by Sprint this summer, but RIM will add LTE and HSPA+ versions.

HSPA+ would make the device compatible with a large majority of GSM carriers worldwide that have begun to deploy the technology as an upgrade to their data networks. LTE would make the PlayBook compatible with those further along in their deployments, as well as CDMA providers like Verizon who have chosen the platform for their own wireless data upgrade paths.

The PlayBook was announced in September of last year, following months of rumors. With Apple's iPad showing that there is indeed a market for these devices, major electronics players are rushing their own tablets to the market.

Betanews' Tim Conneally saw the device at CES 2011, and generally had a good impression of it. "Though the device's weight and feel in hand are still something of a mystery, the BlackBerry PlayBook is shaping up to be an impressive device, even though it is in the 7" form factor, which is sometimes considered a less-than-ideal screen size," he opined.

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