Sprint Brings Wireless Corporate E-Mail To Mobile Devices

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Sprint PCS on Tuesday unveiled a gateway solution that will make it easier for business users to access e-mail, calendar and contact information on the road.

The solution, rolled out at the Consumer Electronics Show here, provides access to corporate data, including shared files on a hard drive, PDA, notebook or Internet-enabled Sprint mobile phone, said Jason Guesman, director of marketing at Sprint.

The Kansas City, Mo-based company said the Business Connection Personal Edition will be available this quarter for SMB and business users whose corporate IT departments haven't implemented support for mobile devices. Following that, Sprint expects to release a behind-the-firewall solution for the enterprise, Guesman said.

The solution requires users to install software on their desktop, which will configure the system to share data. Then e-mail and other information is passed through a Sprint server, which will format the data based on each phone's requirements. Data is presented via the phone's Web browser.

"The middleware knows how to display content and e-mail on each device," Guesman said.

Sprint's solution requires that the user's target PC be powered on to retrieve data, but the system also allows users to designate a proxy system to send information. For example, an executive could receive his schedule from his secretary's computer, Guesman said.

Sprint executives said they paid strict attention to security when developing the solution. Sprint will use SSL and other proprietary technologies to ensure data stays secure, Guesman said. Data isn't stored on any Sprint server; it passes directly from the target PC to the portable device, he added.

Transfer rates for the service will be 14.4 Kbps until Sprint moves to its next-generation services, expected mid-year. At that point, Guesman said users should see transfers of 60 Kbps to 80 Kbps, up to a peak of 144 Kbps.

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