RIM teases LTE, HSPA+ versions of the PlayBook

BARCELONA, Spain--BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) announced two new versions of its forthcoming PlayBook tablet. The company said it will release LTE and HSPA+ iterations of the gadget, though it did not provide pricing details, a launch date or possible supporting wireless operators.

RIM announced a Wi-Fi-only version of the PlayBook last year (to be released in the coming months), and earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show the company announced a WiMAX version of the gadget for Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) (to be released sometime this summer). RIM had previously promised to release multiple versions of the tablet for various wireless networks.

Though RIM did not provide details on its LTE and HSPA+ versions of the PlayBook, it's reasonable to assume they will be sold through Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T). RIM has tight relationships with both carriers--the two largest in the United States--and Verizon has launched an LTE network and AT&T has launched an HSPA+ network.

RIM isn't the only vendor working on tablets for various wireless networks. Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) recently announced an LTE version of its Xoom Android tablet for Verizon, and LG has an HSPA+ Android tablet, the G-Slate, headed to T-Mobile USA.

In other RIM news released in conjunction with the Mobile World Congress trade show here, the company announced a BlackBerry Messenger "Mobile Gifting Platform" that will allow BlackBerry users to pay for the airtime, apps and other services that have been requested by another user. RIM also announced its new BlackBerry Travel app.  

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