T-Mobile is the first mobile phone operator to announce it will be offering the much-anticipated BlackBerry Bold smartphone to UK customers. The handset will go onsale in the UK from September.

The BlackBerry Bold is a 3.5G HSDPA (high-speed download packet access) handset capable of internet access at rates of up to 4.5MB/s (megabits per second) via the T-Mobile network.

A GPS-enabled device, the BlackBerry Bold is a quad-band phone and is the first T-Mobile BlackBerry handset that is being launched across all territories, including the Far East. It will come with BlackBerry Maps and offer Wi-Fi connectivity in addition to HSDPA.

The BlackBerry Bold has a full Qwerty keypad, offers mobile web access as well as push email, a 2Mp camera and an onboard media player for viewing and roughly editing photos and playing videos.

Extra storage is offered via the Bold's miniSD/miniSDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) removable media card slot. These flash memory cards are currently available in capacities of up to 8GB, with 16GB coming later this year.

The device, which is being distributed to UK reviewers this week, was reportedly delayed due to battery issues, which meant it wasn't able to steal Apple's thunder when it recently launched the iPhone 3G.

In May, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) announced it would start selling the Bold smartphone worldwide this summer, with initial reports suggesting UK availability as early as late June or early July.