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Mobile operators impressed by BlackBerry 10, RIM says

Research in Motion (RIM) last week gave its Canadian mobile network partners a first glimpse of its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system and handsets.

The BlackBerry manufacturer is embarking on a worldwide campaign to hype up the new OS and get commitments from wireless providers. Though the phones won't be available until early next year, response from mobile operators appears to be optimistic.

"The response that we got back from the executive team at some of the Canadian carriers was tremendous," Andrew McLeod, managing director of RIM's Canadian operations, told reporters, according to the Toronto Star. Further, McLeod went on to say that the networks were "visibly positive and visibly enthusiastic."

Several top RIM executives, including CEO Thorsten Heins, have already met with operators in Canada, Mexico, and the US. In the coming weeks, they plan to make stops in Europe, Asia, and Africa to meet with others.

Afterwards, RIM plans to begin product launch discussions with carriers in an effort to nail down marketing and technical support plans. RIM was mum about which operators it has met with this week, though McLeod reportedly said Canada will be the focus of the initial launch.

"Obviously it's very important to us that we demonstrate leadership and strength in our home market," he said.

The future of BlackBerry 10 was thrown into question back in June when RIM announced that it would delay its launch of the OS from the fall to early 2013. Speaking with shareholders last month, Heins acknowledged that the next several quarters will be "very challenging" for RIM, but he stressed that BlackBerry 10 will be the start of the new era.

The company has promised that a BlackBerry 10 device with a physical, Qwerty keyboard will be released shortly after a touch version.