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Berggi system targets low-cost email

Berggi, a low-cost alternative to the BlackBerry, will bring e-mail, and other communications services to the masses according to the firm’s chief executive Tuesday.

The firm, which is backed by several high profile European entrepreneurs, will, says its boss Babur Ozden, bring a simplified new email option to the mass market. According to Ozden, the potential is huge because only a third of the US market uses a smartphone/BlackBerry device. Berggi needs neither.

Berggi insists that from the beginning he has had a simple plan to bring mobile messaging to the masses. “That means developing a service that can easily run over any phone, over any service, and at a price point that makes sense to the average consumer,” he said.

The new service which does not require a special phone or new account, will allow consumers to send text messages in the body of a mail. It does not allow document attachments.

The service will go live in the US on Thanksgiving day (Thursday) and customers can sign up on the Berggi website. A Spanish launch is expected Friday with Italy, the UK and Turkey following next year.

While the American service may go down well, Windsor Holden, senior analyst with Analysys, says he is “bemused” by the offering and believes it will struggle in Europe.

“At the end of the day there is already a perfectly good messaging system here and it’s called SMS.” Holden is not convinced that mobile email is something consumer want, or need. “This seems to me to be a complication of what is a very simple system to use… but bearing in mind that the US is staill way behind Europe in the take up of SMS, perhaps it will do well there.”

The service will cost $9.99 a month in the US whereas European users are expected to pay by the data they consume.

Berggi has the support of several European heavyweights including founder and chairman Jorge Mata (My Alert and Buongiorno) and CTO Raul Lorenzo.

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