Orange to offer email services

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Reuters is reporting that French telecomm company Orange announced today that they are expanding into mobile email services for small to medium-sized enterprises. This isn’t so much an attempt to take a slice from RIM’s business so much as it is an attempt to expand the pie.

Today, only around 10 percent of small and medium enterprises use mobile e-mail and it’s often seen as an expensive business tool reserved for senior executives in the company. Our research indicates that this limited uptake is due to barriers such as cost, complexity and the need for specific devices… Our aim is to open up mobile email to a much wider base of business users,” said Philippe Bernard, executive vice president of Orange Business Solutions.

Those who sign up with Orange will receive push email services, as well as calendar syncing. Already launched in Romania, Orange said the service would be rolled out gradually across the rest of Europe until the first half of 2007 and will initially support 8 devices: Orange’s own C600, M3000, M3100 and C700 devices; Sony Ericsson’s M600i and P990i; and Nokia’s E61 and E50.