Vodafone has announced a managed service for enterprises designed to provide security for Windows Mobile handsets used by workers.
Available now, the Enhanced Services for Windows Mobile Email plan provides users with a 500MB or 5GB data allowance.
The monthly fee also includes virus monitoring and firewall protection, backed by device management, configuration, lock and wipe, remote diagnostics and support and consultancy services.
Vodafone claimed that the need for this service is shown by its own research, which found that users treat company mobiles as their own property.
About 10 per cent of users confessed to changing settings, and 15 per cent to downloading software without permission, leading to security issues, according to Vodafone.
Alex Windle, Vodafone's head of email and applications, explained that corporate and larger SME customers had asked for help with device management.
"The key thing is that it's quite complex to manage this stuff. Problems might be caused by viruses or by misconfiguration and could be tricky to fault-find, but we have the expertise to sort it out," he said.
The service is aimed at customers large enough to be already operating their own Microsoft Exchange email system, rather than being a hosted email solution.
Prices start at £12.50 per month for the 500MB plan, which is an add-on to whichever voice tariff customers have chosen. Businesses get priority support for their money, with a support hotline for IT managers.
Enhanced Services for Windows Mobile Email pulls together several " best-of-breed" third-party tools, but Windle said that "no-one else is packaging them up into a solution and offering to manage it for customers".
The service is currently available only on Windows Mobile handsets, although Windle said that Vodafone intends to extend support to other platforms in the future.
"As Windows Mobile becomes more advanced the devices become more like a small computer, so potential attacks become more of a threat," Windle said.
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