RIM, the firm behind the Blackberry, is to produce a handheld device that would include both voice and data capabilities.

As yet unnamed, the unit will be a combined effort with Nextel Communications and Motorola. The PDA (personal digital assistant) will use RIM's wireless email technology and Motorola's iDEN (integrated digital enhanced network) technology on Nextel's mobile network in the USA, offering voice and two-way radio services, text, numeric paging and Nextel Wireless Web online services, RIM said in a statement.

RIM's handhelds will support Java 2 Micro Edition applications, as well as messaging and application management services, RIM said.

Whether or not the device would be released in the UK is as yet unknown, especially considering the reluctance companies such as BT Cellnet have shown in releasing the Blackberry (pictured), which has been very successful in the USA.

The BlackBerry wireless 'always-on' email devices were in use by about 289,000 subscribers at the beginning of December 2001, according to RIM.