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AT&T To Offer Data Protection For Non-Smartphone Users

Let's face it. Not all enterprise workers are deemed worthy or important enough to use a smartphone (i.e. BlackBerry or Treo). Many millions of knowledge workers are stuck using regular, cons
Let's face it. Not all enterprise workers are deemed worthy or important enough to use a smartphone (i.e. BlackBerry or Treo). Many millions of knowledge workers are stuck using regular, consumer-grade devices as their work mobile phone. But that doesn't mean their phone numbers, contacts, and other data isn't any less valuable than their smartphone-equipped betters, er, colleagues. AT&T has decided that their information is worth protecting, too, and will start doing so on June 8.One of the advantages smartphones have over regular consumer devices is that they come with contact and personal information management software and easily sync with PCs. If a smartphone is lost or stolen, loading PIM data onto a replacement device is as simple as re-syncing with your PC. True, third-party solutions that offer similar services to consumer phones have been floating around for a while, but this new service has the blessing of AT&T itself.

Called AT&T Mobile Backup, users download a small application to their phones and activate the service (for $1.99 per month). The backup service will then automatically drag all your contacts, photos, and other data up into the ether and store it somewhere in AT&T's network. After the initial upload, your information is available via an online interface where it can be managed more easily. Any changes made online will be reflected on your device after the next sync, which can be set to daily, weekly, or manually.

Unfortunately, the service doesn't work with every phone in AT&T's lineup, and in fact, none of the smartphones are noted in the compatibility listing. But then, smartphones already have their own version of this service.