Sprint Cuts The Cord On E-Mail - InformationWeek

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Sprint Cuts The Cord On E-Mail

Company takes on RIM by making it easier to access business E-mail on more wireless devices.

Sprint Corp. last week said it has expanded its wireless E-mail services to Java-enabled multimedia mobile devices, giving more customers the ability to access corporate E-mail from their cell phones.

Sprint PCS Business Connection Personal and Enterprise Edition services, which provide wireless access to corporate E-mail and other online services, can be added to any wireless voice plan on a variety of Java-enabled multimedia devices, Sprint says. By making it easier to access business E-mail from more wireless devices, Sprint positions itself more aggressively against players like BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. that dominate the market for these types of devices.

Sprint's wireless data revenue grew 14% in the first quarter of 2005, representing about 10% of its customer-service revenue, the company says. Broader availability of wireless E-mail services likely will help drive that growth.

To accomplish this, Sprint expanded its alliance with global wireless vendor Seven Networks Inc., which provides the software and services that let customers add PCS Business Connection services to cell phones, such as Sanyo-made Sprint PCS Vision Multimedia phones. Previously, PCS Business Connection services were available only on Sprint PDA and cell-phone combination devices and weren't available on Java-enabled devices, a Sprint spokeswoman says.

PCS Business Connection provides real-time access to Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, POP, and IMAP information, including E-mail messages and attachments, calendars, business directories and personal contacts, desktop documents, and E-mail from Internet accounts. It uses end-to-end 128-bit AES encryption to secure data and leverages a real-time architecture to ensure that data isn't replicated to third-party servers outside the firewall.

Sprint also revealed an alliance with Good Technology Inc. to let business customers buy directly from Sprint GoodLink corporate wireless messaging services. "Now business customers can purchase GoodLink services at the same time they purchase the devices," the spokeswoman says, "and they can be billed for those services in one integrated bill."

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