Wireless "push" e-mail doesn't have to come with a high price tag or require a smartphone. Seven Networks, a provider of wireless e-mail software, and service provider Alltel Wireless on Monday extended the capability to receive wireless push e-mail to cell phones that use the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless, or Brew, Qualcomm's application development platform for enhanced cell phone services.
Now mobile users with cell phones like the popular Motorola Razr and an Alltel subscription can receive wireless e-mail and get access to their contacts through Seven's Office Sync software for Brew. Office Sync is available in two versions: Enterprise Server Edition for businesses and Personal Edition for individuals and smaller businesses.
Many businesses today rely on smartphones for wireless e-mail. Smartphones have been coming down in price and new ones have entered the market targeted at both consumers and professionals, such as Motorola's Moto Q and Research In Motion's BlackBerry Pearl. But the price of smartphones is still high, ranging between $200 and $300 (with a service subscription).
Businesses that choose not to deploy smartphones to their employees can purchase the new service through Alltel's business channel for $15 a month, which includes unlimited data, according to the company.
Wireless e-mail is the most popular application used by business professionals, so the demand for all types of mobile devices that offer this capability is growing.
Smaller companies that want to equip their employees with wireless e-mail and may not need access to business applications are interested in lower-end mobile devices that can offer such capabilities. "We're definitely seeing a trend where lower-end phones are getting e-mail and they're a lot cheaper to use," says Kathryn Weldon, an analyst at research firm Current Analysis.