Cingular Expands E-Mail Services to Small Businesses

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Cingular Wireless is expanding its corporate e-mail and telephone offering to more than 6,000 company-owned retail stores and agent outlets nationwide.


The decision to include retail availability of Cingular's XpressMail with Blackberry service is part of the Atlanta operator's strategy to boost wireless e-mail use among mobile professionals.


The main target for this initiative is the customer base in small and midsize business markets.


Research from International Data Corp. shows 14 percent of small and midsize businesses in the United States this year aim to buy a smart handheld device that handles e-mail and voice services.


In that report, IDC said small and midsize businesses spend an average of $286 a month on wireless services. They prefer to buy their telecommunications products at retail stores.


Cingular's XpressMail with Blackberry is compatible with Research in Motion's Blackberry 6280 and Blackberry 7280 handheld devices. These instruments combine voice with data features including conference calling, international roaming, text messaging, calendars, to-do lists and e-mail access.


Customers do not have to dial up since Blackberry handhelds have a constant connection to Cingular's wireless network. Cingular customers using the Blackberry can see e-mail attachments and wirelessly reconcile e-mail messages between their computers and handhelds.


Also, Blackberry handhelds let customers dial and e-mail from within a message. Customers can click on a phone number or e-mail address in a message to automatically place a call or send an e-mail response.


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