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PAYG BlackBerry Arrives in the UK

Orange has launched the first pay-as-you-go Blackberry deal in the UK, offering consumers the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 without the nagging, long-term (marriage) contract.

The news came this past Thursday directly from Orange, saying that the Pearl 8120 would indeed work with its Pay As You Go (PAYG) data services, making it the only Blackberry plan in the UK that doesn't carry the long-term baggage. The company said that customers must first purchase the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 for £145, exclusive to Orange in indigo. Customers can then choose one of Orange’s existing PAYG Animal packages, offering a choice of free rewards before subscribing to Orange’s PAYG BlackBerry Internet Service for just £5 per month, on a monthly rolling subscription.

“With nearly two thirds of UK mobile customers now using pay as you go, we are really pleased to be bringing one of the most popular email and multimedia devices to the masses as the first operator to offer BlackBerry on pay as you go in the UK," Pippa Dunn, director of Pay As You Go, Orange UK. "At Orange, we’ve always been known for innovation and great value, and with the launch of this service, we continue to lead the market – giving UK pay as you go customers the choice they deserve.”

Even though Orange is currently the only carrier to offer the pay-as-you-go Blackberry plan, other mobile operators carry smartphones using the same pre-paid structure, including the Nokia 6210 Navigator over on Vodafone (£170) and the Sony Ericsson W880i supplied by T-Mobile (£98). Orange's BlackBerry Pearl 8120 doesn't offer 3G connectivity, however it does feature a SureType keyboard, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a media player, and a two-megapixel camera with LED flash.

The BlackBerry 8120 is available from early February for just £145. Orange also added that that BlackBerry Internet Service can only be used in the UK; any roaming data use will be charged at the standard PAYG roaming charges. The offer is available on all PAYG tariffs.