Getting E-Mail on Your Phone
To get your e-mail on an Internet-ready phone, you have to pick the right wireless carrier. First, make sure that your carrier supports the protocol used by the e-mail account your ISP gives you. Most major wireless carriers support POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3), though Verizon supports only IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).
Even if your business's e-mail system supports the same protocol as your wireless carrier, consult your IS department. Though both Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino servers support POP3 and IMAP, your company's virtual private network requirements or firewall settings could stymie access.
For accessing your Web mail, choose a wireless carrier that offers a microbrowser version. All five carriers listed in the chart below offer AOL Mail, and most provide MSN Hotmail or Yahoo Mail.
Also, beware of charges: With Cingular's $3-per-month plan, for example, you'll pay 2 cents per kilobyte of transmitted data. Nextel, Sprint PCS, and T-Mobile offer plans with unlimited usage.
Where Wireless E-Mail Can Go
Check for the proper protocol--and for extra charges.
Cingular--$3 per month and up (plus 2 cents per KB)
Nextel--$15 per month (unlimited usage)
Sprint PCS--$15 per month (unlimited usage)
T-Mobile--$5 per month and up (unlimited usage)
Verizon--$5 per month and up (plus minutes charges)