Vodafone has announced an agreement to collaborate with Research In Motion on the development of Vodafone consumer services for the BlackBerry platform.

This move sees Vodafone add the BlackBerry platform to the set of preferred consumer operating platforms that it strategically supports.

This "deepening of the strategic relationship" between the two companies will see Vodafone and RIM concentrating on continued growth in business segments, and specifically, focusing on growing adoption in the consumer segment.

Vodafone applications and services will also be tightly integrated with the BlackBerry platform which the company says will provide Vodafone customers with an enhanced mobile experience.

"This strategic agreement aims to deliver an optimised experience – aimed squarely at the needs of the customer, delivering simple-to-use services and lower costs. We are excited to be working so closely with RIM to develop this area", said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone global director of terminals.

"In addition to growing the established Enterprise market, we fully expect the appeal of the BlackBerry platform to be strongly adopted by consumers; attracted by best in class messaging and email, internet experience, a range of multimedia capabilities including music and imaging functionality."

"The BlackBerry platform continues to resonate strongly with consumers, especially with the introduction of the BlackBerry Pearl and the BlackBerry Curve, and we are pleased that Vodafone has selected BlackBerry as a preferred consumer platform. We look forward to working with Vodafone and the ecosystem of BlackBerry application partners to bring new experiences to BlackBerry smartphones", said David Yach, CTO for Software at Research In Motion.