back to article T-Mobile pushes consumer mail

T-Mobile is inviting UK consumers to join the pushy set by offering genuinely-pushed email to a custom client, for a small consideration of £3.50 a month. The service connects to up to five existing email accounts and alerts the client to connect and download new messages using a silent SMS notification, in much the same way …


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  1. Dave


    Since I discovered that my IMAP server (Cyrus) supports the push feature, and my phone also does, I get instant notification of incoming email without needing to pay a telco or give them my passwords. However, I guess Mr Joe Public who wants the minimum of user configuration on his services might be tempted.

  2. Neil Hoskins

    How to part a fool and his money

    S60's mail client already supports IMAP IDLE. I don't know about Windows Mobile but I'd be very surprised if it didn't. (Clue: this means you can use it to connect to your existing mailbox and get push email without paying a monthly fee to some intermediary.)

  3. Andrew Gillard

    Re: IMAP IDLE on Windows Mobile

    Windows Mobile 6.1 doesn't natively support IMAP IDLE, unfortunately. There are some third party clients that do, but I've yet to find one that works properly. The third party solution that came closest to being decent wants to entirely replace Pocket Outlook as the email and SMS client, which is incredibly annoying, given that Pocket Outlook works fine for my needs.

    C'mon, developers. I'll gladly pay for a little Pocket Outlook plugin that adds IMAP IDLE functionality. It just has to do its job easily, without hassle, and with support for multiple accounts (work and personal email). It can't be that hard, can it?

    Here's hoping WinMo 6.5 brings IDLE support...

  4. Simon Painter

    IMAP IDLE is no better than Active-Sync

    IMAP IDLE is not push email in the same sense of the blackberry push mail as it requires a data connection initiated by the client to be active all the time. In that respect it's no better than Microsoft's Active-Sync that the jesus phone uses (oh yes, fanbois, did nobody mention to you that Apple needs Microsoft's help to do 'push').

    True push email uses the cellular network to notify the handset when it needs to make a data connection. SMS messages are just slipped in amongst the normal command codes that the phone sends and receives when switching between base stations so the whole thing is a lot kinder to the battery than holding a GPRS or 3G data connection open all the time or polling constantly when there is no mail to collect.

  5. James
    Thumb Down

    really, no android app?

    thanks t-mobile. dicks!

  6. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    So, basically the same ...

    as Mobile Mail on 3, then? Which they have been punting for years...

    Paris, because she likes servers with a good push to them. Allegedly.

  7. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    IMAP, or even POP3

    If you have an "unlimited" data account (yeah, right...) just set your POP3 client to poll once a minute. T-Mobile will have to poll your account anyway, then the SMS transit time is non-zero, so you wouldn't see much delay compared to the "push" service.

    The annoying thing is that there exists a public, unencumbered standard for mobile email - RFC4550 and chums. Essentially, it is IMAP IDLE plus a bunch of other tricks for cutting OTA bandwidth usage.

    You aren't seeing it on handsets because:

    1) it's hard.

    2) it takes control of email away from the operator, so there's no incentive to spend loadsa cash making it work right (see 1 above).

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  9. c

    IMAP4 IDLE is not push

    its just a fancy inefficient pull. There is a ratified standard for mobile push e-mail called OMA EMN which is supported by all late model Nokia N-series devices, Sony-Ericcson and Motorola 3G devices to name a few.

  10. Bryan Anderson
    Thumb Down

    Just as they break Blackberry BIS

    Seems T-Mobile have broken something by upgrading to 2.6 version of Blackberry BIS. Now impossible to add a new Hotmail address to your BIS account (or even re-add one you've been using for over a year). Maybe they've broken this so that we all try their new push service?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    What difference doe it make?

    Push or pull, the end result is the same no?

  12. Simon J. Richards

    Google Mail for Mobile push mail is better!

    Just download the latest version applet of Google Mail for Mobile (though they seemingly never say what version you are downloading) and under Settings tick the new option "Notify me when there is new mail" and bingo! Push Email for peanuts and virtuall no configuration.

    You'll get a long vibrate and (on my SE W950i at least) a globe logo to show that new mail has been downloaded. It uses _tiny_ amounts of data.

  13. RichyS
    Paris Hilton

    Useful for how many?

    I suppose this might be useful for some people. As other posters have pointed out, most handset support some sort of push/pseudo-push email (I have my GMail messages 'pushed' quite happily to my SE W910).

    However, for all these methods, you'll need to pay for data -- either per MB, or by having a web'n'walk subscription. The latter costs at least £7.50 per month. So, if _all_ you want is email, then the push email service will be fine. But it strikes me that getting the whole of the Internet for another 4 quid makes the email only service seem poor value. Especially as T-Mobile seem to be punting free web'n'walk at the mo...

    Paris, 'cos she represents poor value for money too.

  14. tebiru

    I have the Gmail app...

    ...and turned on the 'Notify me when I have new email' option, but I have yet to get one alert, after a month of using it on my W890i. I wonder why?

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