Start-up eyeing messaging services for low-cost phones

A start-up founded by a group of successful European entrepreneurs is set to bring email, instant messaging and other communications services to low-cost mobile phones, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report quoted Babur Ozden, the head of Berggi, as saying that his company plans to offer a simplified alternative to the Blackberry email delivery service from Canada's Research In Motion , which dominates the mobile professional market.

Berggi aims to offer messaging services for basic mobile phones that still represent two-thirds of the US mobile market, the Reuters report said.

Users of Blackberry or rival email services on Palm or Microsoft software need more expensive, so-called smartphones.

Consumers can send and receive email on their phones from Internet services such as Yahoo, Microsoft or Google, along with popular instant-messaging services. Berggi delivers any text in the body of an email, but not document attachments.

'Our uniqueness is that we are the only application that runs on mid- to lower-end phones,' Ozden said in an interview.

US consumers can sign up on the company's Web site at http://www.berggi.com, beginning on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Mobile phone users in Spain can start using Berggi on Friday.

During the first half of next year, Berggi plans to offer the service in Britain, Italy, Mexico and Turkey, Ozden said.

The US service costs $9.99 a month. European users pay by the data they consume.

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