Although it's just a year old, the BlackBerry wireless email service and terminal are already providing benefits for a number of corporate users, ranging from brokerage houses to attorneys.
Many other wireless email services require that users have a separate email address for the wireless device, but BlackBerry allows wireless users to maintain a single email address.
The service and terminal from Research In Motion (RIM) is being resold by Compaq, and America Online plans to use the BlackBerry service as part of its consumer service.
RIM also lets users tap into desktop email systems, through partnership agreements with ISPs such as OneMain.com which has 700,000 subscribers. Lease of the device and unlimited use of the BlackBerry service costs $US40 ($A65.50) per month for each user.
While the Palm VII offers similar wireless email connectivity, corporate users have deployed BlackBerry in large numbers since its introduction in January. Financial services firm Salomon Smith Barney plans to equip 2,500 employees with the BlackBerry service and RIM 950 terminals. Wireless provider American Mobile plans to deploy a RIM 850 device - though not the BlackBerry service - throughout its network. RIM's market could include more than 20 million Lotus Notes users through a partnership with IBM.