Low-Cost Wireless E-Mail Service Debuts - InformationWeek

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Low-Cost Wireless E-Mail Service Debuts

JP Mobile's SureWave Mobile Connect service doesn't require upfront investments in hardware and software, but it means less control over E-mail dissemination.

JP Mobile Inc. this week introduced a subscription service for mobile professionals who want to retrieve their E-mail wirelessly, yet can't get such a service from their own IT departments. With its new service, JP Mobile has "taken the power out of the IT department's hands and placed it into the individual's hands," says Kevin Burden, an analyst at market-research firm IDC.

The SureWave Mobile Connect Service lets professionals use mobile devices to get to Microsoft Outlook E-mail or other data, such as customer leads. To activate the service, users must go to the SureWave Mobile Connect portal at www.surewave.com and enter the Outlook Web access path and Microsoft Exchange domain name supplied by their IT department.

Many IT departments haven't implemented wireless E-mail services because of the investment in hardware and software required and because of the added complexities. JP Mobile says such investments aren't required with its service; it charges a flat rate of $12.95 a month per user.

SureWave is a push E-mail service. Unlike other wireless E-mail services, it doesn't send a copy of an original E-mail to a mobile device or require the user to initiate access to an E-mail server. Instead, the original E-mail is directed automatically to the user's mobile device.

A hosted wireless service such as JP Mobile's requires IT departments to give up some control over the dissemination of E-mail, IDC's Burden says. "A lot of IT managers might have a problem with that," he adds. JP Mobile could calm some of those concerns by selling blocks of licenses to companies and providing IT departments with administrative rights that will allow them certain management capabilities, he says. Adds Burden: "That might help the situation, but that's not being offered just yet."

In addition to offering SureWave Mobile Connect directly to businesses--and to individual business professionals--JP Mobile is selling the service to other E-mail providers, so they can offer it to their customers. For example, Smart Global, a provider of hosted mobile data services, in partnership with O2, a wireless operator in the United Kingdom, is offering the service rebranded as Smart Email+.

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