Monday, October 24, 2005

Oz Lands Cingular - Baseball or Email?

I promised I wouldn't blog about baseball after the Red Sox were swept by their worthy successors as America's MLB team. I know CWS play at US Cellular Field - not Cingular, but I couldn't resist the comparison. Ozzie Guillen is making magic happen, and I have no doubt they will sweep Houston, just like the Cards were swept last year by my Sox.

And last night's game had all the heroics and drama of last year's playoffs, and even I can see that Paul Konerko has picked up David Ortiz's mojo and is doing him proud. Wow, what a game! Houston doesn't stand a chance.

Enough - let's get to the real story. Oz Communications just landed a deal to do wireless email with Cingular. What's up with Canadian companies and email? I have to wave the flag on this one. Oz is based in Montreal, and are offering a RIM-like service for mobile subscribers.

Basically, you have to subscribe to a web-based email service, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, , etc. - or use your browser-based email. To avoid tying up bandwidth and airtime, the neat twist to their service is that you get a beep alert when emails come in. You can then view the header and decide which ones to download. So, you just receive the ones you really need when you're on the go.

So far, the software can be downloaded to most of the major handsets - Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, but there are plans for it to be embedded in other handsets, making it an out of the box application.

Given the huge, and ever-expanding number of mobile users out there, this application has great upside as a mass market application. When you consider that RIM only has a few million high end subscribers - and look at their market cap - Oz is on to something good here.

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