Sprint Expands Range of Phones That Get Corporate E-Mail
Published on: 19th June 2008
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Sprint Nextel plans to give a number of its non-smartphones access to corporate e-mail accounts in an effort to entice subscribers and stave off customer defections.
The Overland Park, Kan., wireless carrier continues to struggle with a shrinking customer base and is falling further behind as the No. 3 player. To reverse the trend, it has been aggressive in pushing services and new pricing plans. Sprint offers a $99 plan that features unlimited use of all of its voice and data services. It recently expanded that to a simpler family plan. The move also continues its trend of making even the basic phones in its lineup smarter - it recently overhauled the Web-browsing experience on many of its feature phones.
On Thursday, Sprint said simple flip phones, such as the Motorola Razr and LG Electronics Fusic, would be able to access the subscriber's corporate e-mail through Sprint Mobile Email Work. "Tweener" phones - which straddle the line between a feature and a smartphone - such as the LG Rumor or Samsung Electronics Instinct, will have access to the service as well.
Indeed, the Instinct will come preloaded with Sprint Mobile Email Work. The company said on Wednesday that it will sell the touchscreen iPhone rival for $129.99 with a two-year contract.
Sprint will offer the service as a software update that customers can download onto compatible cellphones in the coming weeks. The service is free under Sprint's various unlimited plans, but costs an extra $9.99 a month with other plans.
Subscribers can look up their work contacts, synchronize e-mail on their phone with their online mail accounts, and get alerts for new e-mails.
Previously, only smartphones such as Research in Motion's Blackberry line could access corporate e-mail accounts, which generally run on Microsoft's Exchange Server or International Business Machine's (IBM) Lotus Notes accounts and demand higher security than personal e-mail. Many phones had access to personal accounts offered by Microsoft's Hotmail or Google.
But companies are realizing the value of offering a device that can access both work and personal accounts. Apple's new iPhone, for example, will include software that allows it to access corporate e-mail when it is released next month.
-By Roger Cheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2020; email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires