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ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
6/26/2002

Wireless email software vendor ViAir Inc. today announced deals with AT&T Wireless Services Inc. (NYSE: AWE) and SmarTone Mobile Communications Ltd. (SEHK: 0315) and told Unstrung that it rightfully belongs on our forthcoming Top 25 Private Companies list.

"There's no business reason why we shouldn't be on the list," says ViAir CEO Bruce Chatterley.

ViAir, he says, is one of the only companies in the emerging wireless email market that can actually show carriers demonstrable increases in average revenue per user (ARPU) from installing their system.

"We generate between 10 and 15 dollars of incremental ARPU per month," Chatterley says.

Security is a major issue for wireless email users, especially enterprise users, and Chatterley has issues with the way major rival Seven Networks Inc. (the company that would likely be bumped to make room for ViAir on the Unstrung list) handles itself in this department.

The Seven software, he says, sends a user's credentials to the carrier's network when initially setting up a new subscriber on the system. This is fundamentally insecure, he argues.

In contrast, Chatterley says, the ViAir software uses the carrier network credentials to set up the subscriber account. "That way, if they [hackers] crack the carrier network, they only get your email, not your company network credentials."

AT&T Wireless and SmarTone are using ViAir's Wireless Inbox software to offer users access to Notes, Exchange, and Web-based email on their phones. Hong-Kong-based SmarTone says the service is available now. AT&T is initially rolling its Office Online service in the 25 cities in the U.S. where it has GPRS networks up and running. AT&T is pricing the service at $2.99 a month.

Chatterley predicts that soon there will be more people using ViAir's wireless email software than there are using Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)'s well established BlackBerry system.

"We will pass RIM's Blackberry subs in the next quarter or two," he says. "Depends on how fast they [RIM] grow. They're not growing very fast at the moment."

So what do you think, Dear Readers? Should we bump Seven to make room for ViAir? Let us know by clicking below to "Discuss this story."

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
http://www.unstrung.com

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dougjohnson7
dougjohnson7
12/4/2012 | 10:11:55 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
I'm not prepared to kick Seven out of the top 25 with the news that ViAir and AT&T Wireless signed an agreement. After all, the Barksdale Group is a backer of ViAir and Jim Barksdale used to be the CEO of AT&T Wireless. I'm surprised that it has taken this long to etch an agreement. Note that other Barksdale portfolio companies such as TellMe have also signed deals with AT&T Wireless.

I'd like to issue a challenge to all, and I'll nominate the company who can win the challenge for the top 25 honors.

The Challenge:
I have a Handspring Treo with wireless data service. Almost every day I get a phone call while out of the office, "Could you send me that contract, file, presentation, etc. that you were working on?" I say, "Sure, I'll send it to you when I get back to the office." Then ... I forget.

Truly mobile email should solve this problem. I should be able to send the file directly from my PC without having to download it to my mobile device or store it on a server. This would really help my memory ... or lack thereof.
joset01
joset01
12/4/2012 | 10:11:52 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
Hi
I believe that Summus may be coming out with the kind of system you're looking for (although I'd like to see it working before I truly believe...its a tricky thing to pull off). We've written a story about Summus (http://www.unstrung.com/docume... is currently doing (Verizon etc), they said thay'd have PC link version soon as well. Although, you'll have to leave your desktop on all the time...

Only thing, they can't be on the top 25 private list, they're a public company.

[email protected]
lrmobile_zipper
lrmobile_zipper
12/4/2012 | 10:11:52 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
"The Challenge"

Take a look at Summus's exego. They provide a nice demo on their homepage:

http://www.summus.com/


Also, see Verizon Wireless, which offers exego:

http://www.verizonwireless.com...

wirelessguru11
wirelessguru11
12/4/2012 | 10:11:52 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
Good call on the Barksdale relationship. I donGÇÖt think the former CEO of Sprint and Cingular are on SevenGÇÖs board.

As for solving your memory problem, without having to resort to some stem cell research, I would try SprintGÇÖs Business Connection Personal Edition, which is powered by Seven.

I downloaded it at work and use it to check my company email from my cell phone, but I think you can use your Treo, as well. It literally takes like 10 seconds to set-up. You can get access to files, calendar, basically your whole desktop. Plus itGÇÖs cheap.It was free when I signed up, but I think itGÇÖs only a few bucks a month now. No more RIM for me, baby.
professorAI
professorAI
12/4/2012 | 10:11:26 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
Seven, Viair, Summus, Good, all pale in
comparison to Thinmail, which has
let you do all this from text email
on existing pagers, palms, and phones for
almost two years. No need to buy
a new device.

Caching your last 30 days of email attachments may seem risky, but if you open your desktop for 24 hour mobile file access, or install on your server a new wireless protocol which cuts through the firewall, or allow a robot to store your credentials, you are an accident waiting to happen.
PeerSwitch
PeerSwitch
12/4/2012 | 10:10:55 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
At risk of sounding self-serving, here's one more that you can try, www.gigamediaaccess.com. It's a personal networking tool that lets you get to the data on your PC. It works with any PC and handheld device ... so you can use your Treo to answer the call and then attach a file from your PC to an email that is archived in your Outlook sent folder.
dougjohnson7
dougjohnson7
12/4/2012 | 10:10:48 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
All - Thanks for the help. I'll try a couple of the solutions that were mentioned to improve my memory.
bono
bono
12/4/2012 | 10:10:46 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
Onset TechnologyGÇÖs METAmessage for Wireless: http://www.onsettechnology.com

Challenge: To control files on a userGÇÖs network from a wireless email handheld. For example, an executive is at the airport with a wireless email device. The executive wants to review and forward a contract that is located on their office desktop PC.

Solution: With METAmessage for Wireless from Onset Technology, the user:
- browses the corporate network file structure
- selects the contract file
- if desired, prints the contract on the airport lounge fax machine for review GÇô or reads the contract directly on the handheld, with formatting intact
- forwards the contract via email to the customer

The solution is currently being sold to BlackBerry and MMIS WAP users with demos available for Palm and PocketPC users. A Handspring solution is technically simpler than the existing products and will be distributed as the market demands.
rkeller
rkeller
12/4/2012 | 10:10:08 PM
re: ViAir Wins AT&T, SmarTone Deals
The best solution I've seen is PeerSwitch from Gigamedia Access. It's a P2P solution that allows me to access all my personal stuff from anywhere as well as pinpoint files to share with others. Very cool. It can do exactly what you want to do to meet "the challenge". It also makes connections through firewalls. I use it at home and work. Based on my reading, it leaves both ViAir and Seven in the dust.

This is a product that deserves more attention than it is apparently getting.
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