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BT Launches E-mail Forwarding Service

BT has announced an E-mail Forwarding Service that delivers important email direct to a pager.

With the new service, users need never miss a vital email message when they are out and about, says BT.

To use the service, customers will need to upgrade their pagers to the new BT Message 2000 8-line unit manufactured by Motorola. The pager rings or vibrates when a message arrives, then displays the message. It stores messages until the user deletes them.

"People will be comforted that they are notified on their pager of urgent messages so they are still in touch even when they are away from their desk," said Jason Cross, BT Pagings marketing communications manager.

Pager owners can specify the type of email they wish to have forwarded to them, identifying approved email by sender or subject. This is intended to prevent users being deluged with non-urgent mail.

The cost of the service to companies will be £19.95 ($32) excluding VAT for 150 email messages a month, with each message up to 175 characters long. 250 similar messages will cost £22.95 ($37) per month.

There are no call costs for sending or forwarding mail, which can originate anywhere in the world. The service will work, says BT, even when the user's PC is switched off.

BT says it is looking at the possibilities of two-way paging so that pagers can both send and receive messages. By 2008, 3 million people will be using two-way paging in the UK, according to recent estimates by the UK Paging Industry Association (PIA).

Other developments in the pipeline from BT include powerful encryption for pagers based on military technology, and linking pagers to alarm systems.