Cingular Offers Wireless E-Mail App at Retail Sites

Cingular Wireless places its wireless e-mail software on retail shelves in an effort to court small-business customers.

In a nod to small-business customers, Cingular Wireless is offering its flagship wireless e-mail software in the companys retail outlets.

XpressMail with BlackBerry is now available at more than 6,000 Cingular retail stores and partner outlets nationwide, said company officials in Atlanta.

While it provides access to corporate e-mail, XpressMail is a carrier-hosted, Web-based client, meaning the customer doesnt have to install Research In Motion Ltd.s BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) software behind the firewall.

Large enterprises generally choose to install BES because of security concerns and better quality of service, but small-business customers said the Web client has its place.

Boston-based Color Kinetics Inc., a digital lighting company, supports 20 BlackBerry users on BES and an additional 15 on Web clients.

"We use the Web client for remote salespeople who are unable to use the MAPI [Messaging API] protocol on the Microsoft [Corp.] Exchange server and, quite simply, because we dont want to pay for additional server licenses," said Nicholas Gass, manager of IT at Color Kinetics.

The software is available on RIMs BlackBerry 6280 and 7280 wireless handhelds, which work as phones and wireless data devices and run on Cingulars 1900MHz and 850MHz Global System for Mobile Communications/ General Packet Radio Service networks.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about Cingulars bid to buy AT&T Wireless.

Pricing for the Web-based BlackBerry service ranges from $29.99 per month for 3MB of e-mail storage to $44.99 per month for unlimited e-mail for customers with a Cingular voice plan. E-mail-only plans cost $34.99 for 3MB of storage and $49.99 for unlimited e-mail.

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