U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless yesterday announced an updated version of its mobile e-mail service for feature-phone toting customers, Mobile E-Mail 4.0, with new Microsoft Exchange support. Verizon customers with select devices can now access corporate “push” Outlook mail, calendar and remote contacts look-up, via feature phones using Mobile E-Mail 4.0.
“Feature phone” is a common term used to describe voice- and text-centric cell phones without the Web and/or data access that would make them “smartphones.”
Mobile E-Mail 4.0 gives cell phone users without smartphones, like BlackBerrys or Droids, a new method of connecting their personal mobile devices to corporate Microsoft infrastructure. And it’s just one more reason why IT will be forced to deal with staffers’ “Bring Your Own” technology. (Read “5 Things You Need to Know about BYO Tech” for advice on how to manage employee-owned smartphones and other gadgets.)
The Mobile E-Mail 4.0 application is currently available for $5 a month with a Verizon Pay as You Go data option, and it’s free to customers with a $15 or higher monthly data plan. Currently supported feature phones include: Samsung’s Zeal; the LG Cosmos Touch; LG Octane; Pantech Crux; Samsung Intensity II; Pantech Jest; and the Casio G’zOne Brigade.
The updated Mobile E-Mail service should come in handy for anyone who already owns one of the above-listed device, but I don’t really see many folks running out to purchase one of these handhelds for the Mobile E-Mail 4.0 app alone. In other words, if it’s corporate mail, calendar and contacts you seek on your mobile device, you’re probably already eyeing a smartphone. But the app could be valuable to organizations looking to get mobile Outlook services into the hands of employees without distributing smartphones.
Learn more about Verizon’s Mobile E-Mail 4.0 app on the company’s website.
Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for CIO.com. Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Al at ASacco@CIO.com.