Finally, Free E-mail on Cell Phones

Loraine Lawson

I'm cheating a bit in today's post. You see, I'm supposed to write about cutting edge technology. Technically, this technology is more than 10 years old -- but the application of the technology is so revolutionary, I just couldn't resist.


I'm talking about Freedom Mail -- e-mail delivered via your cell phone, any cell phone. And here's the truly cutting-edge part: It's totally free.


Shocking, I know.


According to Technology Review, Freedom Mail will debut in France, which annoys me, since the company offering it -- SetNet -- is based in Silicon Valley and I live in the U.S. and could really use a free way to access my e-mail via my ancient Nokia. Still, the founder, Nick Fodor, is a French programmer, so I guess that's OK. Anyway, it will be offered in the U.S. in a few months -- after it's made the rounds in Europe.


SetNet was founded in 1993 by Fodor and is the largest provider of wireless e-mail. Foder says the service will be funded by attaching ads, but -- for now -- only to the messages users send. I love this quote from Fodor:

"Freedom Mail is for the rest of us, for those who don't have Blackberries but still use e-mail in everyday life."

Technolgoy Review explains a bit of the more technical aspects of the service, such as how it will deliver e-mails. But what's also interesting to note is this new service could end lawsuits Visto has filed against Research in Motion and Microsoft, who are fighting over who invented wireless electronic mail and mail synchronization.


Fodor says he developed his software in 1993. That would effectively thwart Visto's case, since its patent is dated 1999. But who knows? Maybe Fodor will just wind up embroiled in the legal battle with everyone else.


To be fair, there is another free mobile service with Emoze, but with that service, you have to download software to your phone or PC.

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