Monday, December 03, 2007

The mobile 2.0 revolution starts in Germany

1&1, the largest web hoster in the world, went live with a mobile email solution last week in Germany. They are using Funambol, integrated with OpenXchange. Open source on all levels...

Why is it the start of a revolution?

Because this not a carrier, though they are offering mobile email directly to their users. An ISP offering mobile messaging... The start of a big shift in this market, where you will get your email pushed to your phone directly from the company that "owns" your email. In 99.99% of the cases, that is not your mobile carrier...

1&1 is doing this in a very smart way, since they are going "around" the mobile operator but they are also adding an option to be the mobile operator. Technically, I guess they are proposing themselves also as an MVNO.

So you can get mobile email on your device if:
  1. You own a phone and a data plan. No additional charge.
  2. You want also a special data plan. They have one for 9.99 euro a month (unlimited data, that's nothing!!!!). You could also get a voice plan, if you desire.
  3. You want also a phone. They have a Windows Mobile device for 49.99 euro (heck, that's nothing as well...)
If you speak German, the image below explains option 2 and 3. Or you can also look at their website. They are starting with Windows Mobile. Go get it :-)

I feel this is really huge. An ISP offering mobile email directly (and for free ;-) Plus doubling as an MVNO, to push adoption. The world is changing...

BTW, if you are not German, 1&1 has announced they will be launching in UK, France and USA in the first half of 2008. The revolution is coming to a country close to you ;-)