Last week Hutch announced the launch of its GPRS-based push email solution called HutchMail. It allows corporate users realtime access to their email and calendar.

This puts it in direct competition with BlackBerry, launched by Airtel in October ’04. HutchMail’s pitch is that it can be deployed across all levels of an organisation, because unlike BlackBerry it is handset-independent. It supports any Nokia 60/80 series, Sony Ericsson, Pocket PC and Windows Smartphone. HutchMail is available at a monthly subscription of Rs 899 for unlimited usage.

The BlackBerry service has three major components – BlackBerry handsets, BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry NOC. Since BlackBerry handsets are required for using the service, atleast in India, there is an additional cost of purchasing the handsets for the company. Other than BlackBerry’s handset dependency, both the services offer common benefits like realtime, synchronized, secure email with attachment support.

Idea Cellular had recently announced their plans for a similar service using the Ericsson Mobile Organiser technology. And Tata Tele plans to challenge BlackBerry with Pocket PC based Ego.

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