Nokia has launched a corporate email system to allow business users to send and receive mail from their mobiles.
The Scandinavian firm already has an alliance with RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry email device, but claimed that its Nokia Business Center (NBC) will make mobile email cheaper and more widely available.
Nokia's email system comes in two modes. A standard version gives office staff basic read/write access to email.
A professional version integrates directly into a company's corporate network directory, giving direct access to email on a mobile device in the same way as on the user's office PC. It also allows users to download attachments.
The standard version will be offered free when a company purchases a server licence, which covers 400 people and costs £1,200.
The professional version requires an additional one-time fee per user of £32, providing a perpetual licence for each office worker.
"If it is too disconnected it risks the danger of being just another service. I do not think it will dent BlackBerry until next year at least."
Nokia's server software will be 20 to 30 per cent cheaper than RIM's and users will be charged a one off seat fee rather than RIM's ongoing charges.
"Considering that 70 per cent of people who use popular email devices also carry a mobile phone, the opportunity for us to provide one device and solution that perfectly addresses the voice and data experiences is tremendous," said Mary McDowell, executive vice president of Nokia Enterprise Solutions.
In an email statement to clients, Ovum noted that Nokia's technology has yet to be locked down.
"While Nokia is happy to make price and architecture comparisons with RIM, it is relatively quiet on how its client server communications protocol measures up," the analyst said.
"RIM's design optimises transmission by using some hefty compression, thereby reducing the data that is actually carried over the air interface.
"Nokia is unwilling to say much about how well its own protocol works, but admits that it is still working on compression."
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