Willcom to Launch New Service to Compete Against BlackBerry

Apr 5, 2007
Takeyoshi Yamada, Nikkei Electronics
The WILLCOM Sync Mobile system: Intellisync's Intellisync Server is used for synchronization. The system needs to be operated with one personal computer installed in a company for relaying data (from Willcom's press release).
The WILLCOM Sync Mobile system: Intellisync's Intellisync Server is used for synchronization. The system needs to be operated with one personal computer installed in a company for relaying data (from Willcom's press release).
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On April 3, 2007, Willcom, Inc. announced that it would launch the WILLCOM Sync Mobile service that connects between enterprise systems, such as groupware and email, and Willcom's PHS handsets on April 16.

The WILLCOM Sync Mobile service enables corporate users of groupware such as Microsoft Corp.'s Microsoft Exchange Server and IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes/Domino to check and update their schedules and send and receive emails from outside the company via PHS handsets. The service can be utilized on Willcom's PDA type PHS handset W-ZERO3 series and other PHS handsets supporting compact HTML (cHTML).

Intellisync Corp.'s Intellisync Server running at Willcom's data center is used to relay between PHS handsets and the groupware server installed in a user company. A personal computer on which a monitor program is running is provided in the user company to enable communications between the groupware server and the Intellisync Server.

The service can be utilized without changing the settings of firewall and other systems used in a company because the HTTP protocol is used for communication between the monitor program and the Intellisync Server. In addition, Willcom explains that the security is maintained since communication between the monitor program and PHS handsets is encrypted with AES.

Dedicated client software that runs on Windows Mobile is used when WILLCOM Sync Mobile and ZERO3 are utilized in combination. This enables push mail which allows automatic reception of emails on a handset and real-time updating of schedule, address book and so on. In case of loosing a handset, the "remote data deletion" function that can initializes W-ZERO3 from a remote location is also provided.

Services utilizing enterprise groupware in collaboration with mobile communications terminals equipped with push mail and other features have become widespread in the US among other countries since BlackBerry, developed and sold by Research In Motion Ltd. of Canada, employed such services. In comparison with BlackBerry, available from NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan, "the initial cost of our service is significantly lower and the running cost including the communication cost is less than half." Assistant Director Junya Zushi, Solution Promotion Division Service Management Group of Willcom, stated, "We also want to emphasize the convenience of our service that is available even for a single user."

The monthly charge of WILLCOM Sync Mobile is ¥1,800 per terminal. Subscription assigns one ID to one phone number of Willcom's PHS handset. The service is available from one ID.