European mobile giant, Vodafone, has released their own attempt at a mobile email service for business users. This will put them into competition with similar services from Microsoft and Research in Motion. The company claims that the new service will simplify the complicated and fragmented mobile email market, but in actual fact, it could end up causing considerable branding confusion.
This is due to the fact that Vodafoneâ€™s new Visto-based push email option comes with many of the same features as RIMâ€™s BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which Vodafone already sells. Vodafoneâ€™s service does differ from its BlackBerry equivalent in that it supports different handsets, but price and capability are comparable.
Nevertheless, Vodafone says that it will continue to sell the BlackBerry service in addition to its own. â€œThe Blackberry service is for larger companies, and those established with Blackberry,â€ says John Lillistone, Vodafoneâ€™s head of enterprise data services.
Lillistone believes that his companyâ€™s service fills an important niche by extending enterprise-class email mobility to smaller companies, and those who want to use their existing phones, rather than buying new ones.