Hutch responds to Bharti's BlackBerry solution

CIOL Bureau
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MUMBAI: Though GPRS email service is still in its nascent stage in India, companies are going full hog to lure subscribers. The recent addition to this is Hutch's real-time mail service.


Bharti had in October 2004 launched the BlackBerry wireless solution in India. It allowed business users to access their corporate email accounts, regardless of where they are.

Expanding its portfolio of wireless corporate solutions, Hutch announced the launch of HutchMail. This is a GPRS-based solution that allows executives real-time access to office mails using their Hutch phones. This can be deployed across all levels of a corporate organisation. It differs from BlackBerry, as it is handset-independent mail service.

Around 8.4 million HutchMail users can use their Hutch phones to access mails from Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes. Asim Ghosh, Managing Director, Hutchison Essar said, “It will help users to access their email, both business and personal, on their phones without binding them to a computer or a particular device.”


HutchMail service supports Nokia 60 and 80 series, Sony Ericsson, Windows Pocket PC and Windows smartphones. It also has real-time capabilities, besides attachment support. The service is available at a monthly subscription of Rs 899 for unlimited usage.

Hutch is trying to exploit the handset bound email service in a bid to make the mobile email appear user-friendlier. It saw a need for a no-frills email solution for people on the move, which had to be easy to use and therefore should be handset independent.

Cellular companies know that mobile email makes excellent use of GPRS - GSM's IP-based data service. Hutch and Bharti, both have GPRS mobile services to offer. While Bharti's offering is targeted at business users, Hutch is hoping to also tempt early-adopting consumers. Hutch's mail service is an 'always on' push email service, marketed with airtime package.

Bharti's BlackBerry allows users to access Internet-based email accounts without additional software on a BlackBerry wireless handheld.