Hutch challenges Airtel on mobile mail

Comprehensive article by Surajeet Das Gupta in Business Standard on the competiton between Airtel’s Blackberry and Hutch Mail.

Hutch had announced its mobile push mail service HutchMail, in August this year. But there was hardly any visibility of the product after that. But looks like there are interesting times ahead in the enterprise mobile segment.

Hutch is hitting directly at the cost of adoption and ownership of Blackberry. It has dramatically dropped entry tariffs to nearly half those of Airtel’s Blackberry, is doling out servers free to corporates, and is offering the service on an array of phones (nearly 30 models from different handset manufacturers) so you don’t need to spend extra as is the case with Blackberry (which is limited to just a handful of models).

Its study shows that 40% of management staff in any corporate already own such phones, and so will not be required to change to subscribe to the push mail service.

The cost points for a company going in for a Blackberry solution are:

Blackberry Enterprise Server = Rs 1-2 lakh
Blackberry-enabled phone = Rs 20,000+
Monthly service tariff = Rs 500-1,000

Its entry price for e-corporate mail at Rs 199 is much cheaper than Airtel’s entry price of Rs 499. In both cases, customers pay for downloads (Airtel charges 50 paisa per kilobyte, Hutch is claiming it will offer 10 kilobytes for the same price).

Hutch is additionally offering a Rs 499 pack for 100 MB download (which it says is enough for most subscribers). But Blackberry users have no such option and have to pick up a pack of Rs 899 for limitless download (Hutch’s offer for a similar package is also at the same price).

Hutch has already roped in 70 corporates and over 3,000 users to its fold. Trial runs are on in over 200 companies across the country to experience its service.

Explaining the company’s strategy, Asim Ghosh, managing director of Hutchison Essar, points out: “The mobile phone has to be the way that e-mail services will reach the masses. You could call this the democratisation of the e-mail.

One Comment

  1. As per the artical competition is going on between all gsm and cdma operators.Every operator is thinking about their company benefit only.To use blackberry service they must provide some common plan to every customer.And about the handset there should be no limitation for any handsets ,the service should be provided on more range of CDMA & GSM handsets so that the customre should feel free to take the sevice.The plan should be as fexible as so that each and every customer can buy it.All above the ideas and plan expressed in the artical is quite impressive.

    August 4, 2007
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