Vodafone is launching its own push e-mail service to rival the one offered by its partner RIM.
Vodafone already sells and supports RIM Blackberry devices on its worldwide mobile networks, but has decided to introduce its own push e-mail platform and allow its subscribers to use a wider range of devices to get their messages.
Push e-mail automatically sends users their e-mail periodically via their mobile device, instead of users having to dial up a server to download them in one larger batch.
Vodafone is establishing its service using Visto Corporation's Mobile 5 and ConstantSync push e-mail systems.
“Vodafone intends to offer the best and easiest-to-use mobile e-mail services for our business customers,” said Peter Bamford, chief marketing officer at Vodafone.
“Vodafone push e-mail means more customers can now mobilise their businesses and benefit from greater business productivity and responsiveness while on the move.
"Customers can choose the mobile e-mail solution that complements their IT system, and mobile e-mail users and company IT managers can select the device that best meets their needs."
RIM is the market leader in push e-mail but is coming under increasing pressure from a variety of companies entering the market, and companies like Visto, which are making deals directly with handset manufacturers and mobile operators.
“E-mail is the most pervasive mobile application,” said Stephen Drake, an analyst at IDC. “Mobile professionals have begun to realise significant productivity gains with mobile e-mail.
"As a result, mobile operators have a unique opportunity to deliver e-mail to a broader customer base and provide both voice and data offerings as part of one service on one device.”