Mountain View, Calif. – Handspring launched Treo Mail, a wireless subscription service enabling its Treo 180 and 180g PDA-phones to share an existing corporate or ISP e-mail address.
The service will also work with the company’s planned color Treo 270 Communicator. All three operate on circuit-switched GSM networks but are upgradable to GPRS packet data.
The service will also be compatible with a planned CDMA 1Xversion of the Treo planned for Sprint PCS’s summertime launch of 1X service.
Handspring offers the e-mail service through its proxy server over Cingular and VoiceStream circuit-switched GSM networks. The services can be purchased from Handspring’s web site at $99.99/year for the Corporate Desktop Edition and $49.99 for the Internet Edition on top of the wireless carriers’ normal data fees.
The Corporate Desktop Edition solution lets users access their enterprise’s Microsoft Outlook or POP3 email from behind the firewall. Companion software can be loaded on the networked PC’s hard drive. Visto is offering as server edition that lets enterprises offer wireless e-mail to all employees and making it unnecessary for an enterprise employee to keep his PC on to receive e-mail.
The Internet Edition client software can be used with a home office PC, which doesn’t have to remain on.
The service works like this: The user’s desktop regularly redirects e-mail to Handspring’s proxy server. At regular intervals down to 30 minutes, the Treo will call the proxy server and download whatever e-mail has been received. Alternately, the user can initiate e-mail downloads after getting an e-mail-waiting notification via SMS. The service also lets users automatically synchronize their Treo’s e-mail, but not PIM functions, with their PC over a GSM network.