Mail while you move

BPL Mobile has begun using convergence technology to add value to customer service and ensure customer loyalty with Mobile Mail, its new e-mail service on the mobile phone. The service is available in Mumbai, the rest of Maharashtra, Goa and Kerala. Tamil Nadu is to follow shortly.

Thus, to send an e-mail, a BPL Mobile subscriber will not need a computer/modem, or a Net connection. He doesn't even need to be deskbound, and can send and receive mail while on the move. The airtime used for sending e-mail comes free.

While the company sees this service as one more 'extra' for its customers, the objective is also to retain and enhance user base. "A substantial segment of BPL mobile users come from the trading sector. Users in this segment are happy conducting business over the phone, and rarely use a PC themselves. Besides, the primary use of the Net is for e-mail. We are riding on this technology, to enable our subscribers to reap the benefit of the Internet," explains BPL Mobile COO, Samuel Selvakumar. "An e-mail facility on his mobile would encourage our subscriber to use it and give added value to his mobile experience."

The facility is available to both regular and 'mots' (mobile on the spot) subscribers of BPL Mobile, but while regular subscribers can both send and receive mail, 'mots' users can only receive mail.

The service is offered free of cost to regular subscribers for the first three months, after which a fixed fee will be charged. Messages can be sent in text format only, up to a maximum of 160 characters per message, after which it will be split into smaller messages.

Following in the footsteps of mobile e-mail, the company plans to introduce a host of new services, including mobile banking, mobile information services, mobile trading, mobile chat...It has already tied up with Citibank for a 'strategic alliance' to offer mobile banking, which it expects to begin by April this year.

A basket of services is contemplated under information services, including information on doctors, ambulance, florists, weather, travel, automobile breakdown services, under the information services portfolio.