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Retrieving e-mail from the mobile phone

New Straits Times Monday 16th August 2004

By Fauziah Muhtar


WOULD you like to check e-mail from the mobile phone? The good news is that you don't need wireless application protocol (WAP) and reading an e-mail will cost 30 sen.

This convenient and economica e-mail access is provided by Handisplay (M) Sdn. Bhd. Called Handimail, the service allows users to receive e-mail through short message service (SMS).

Chief Executive Officer Hassan Alan said Handimail could redirect e-mail from the user's personal or corporate account to the handphone as an SMS. Handimail he added , is able to support Yahoo!, Hotmail and any corporate accounts.

“ This is the unque part of Handimail. It notifies the users of the incoming e-mail. The system will not alter its contents and the original mails is still readable in the e-mail Inbox once they open it using a PC (personal computer).”

With such capability, Handimail is available anytime, anywhere even if the person is abroad.

“ As long as the phone can be accessed either locally or through roaming., users can still get their e-mail notofication without delay,” Hassan said, adding that each registered user is allowed to give only one handphone numberfor accessing the e-mail.

At the moment, users will get e-mail in text form. This was decided by Handisplay because the price for receiving pictures or multimedia messages is high and most people cannot afford it.

“ It will be a long time before we start delivering multimedia e-mail content because our research showed that most people are still happy with text e-mail.” Hassan said.

E-mail notification is free but users will be charged once they open the e-mail. Users can also reply to their e-mail, but the charges will depend on the telecommunications companies they are connected to, Hassan said. “ For postpaid users, they will see the charge in their bills while for pre-paid users, their airtime will be deducted,” he explained.

The company also provides spam protection in the e-mail. There are several levels of spam filtering which users hanve to list out the e-mail addresses that they allow, the black list or e-mail addresses that they want to block , and spam. “ We don;t interfere with the e-mail and users' privacy is guranteed,” Hassan said.

Handisplay expects the system to attract mobile professionals.

The company plans to introduce the system worldwide in stages. Malaysia will be the first market, followed by Asean countries.

Currently, the system is undergoing testing for two months. Those interested can try the service for free until Oct 1. Register at the site www.handisplay.com.my.

“ What we want to do now is to create volume. We try to push the SMS price to below 30 sen to create more interest. In the meantime, we launch a marketing campaign to create awareness,” Hassan said.

The company is targetting 10,000 registered users from now until July next year, and another 100,000 users in the second year. A new improved version of Handimail is planned for next year.



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