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Sprint PCS gives enterprises self-control

Oct 27, 20032 mins
Cellular NetworksNetwork Security

* Server-based mobility mgmt. option en route from Sprint

At last week’s CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2003 show in Las Vegas, Sprint PCS said it plans to ship a server-based version of its mobile e-mail-management capabilities late this quarter. The server can reside behind a corporate firewall, and enterprises can own and manage it themselves.

The forthcoming Sprint Server Solution is a premises-based alternative to the carrier’s PCS Business Connection Enterprise Edition offering, which has been available as a network-based service since August 2002.

The newer option targets companies that run their own Microsoft Exchange mobility-management solutions – a deployment model proven out over the past few years as a generally favored option. Witness, for example, the demise of Wireless Knowledge, which began life as a network-based, mobility-management service for e-mail and contact management applications. By contrast, witness the success of NetMotion Wireless, with its roots in the premises-based approach.

The Sprint PCS Business Connection Enterprise Edition Server Solution provides support for customers using Microsoft Exchange 5.5 and 2000 servers. Enterprises can install Server Solution on a standard NT or XP server, according to Sprint.

Enhanced security seems to be one way that modern-day mobile contact-management offerings have progressed from the spate of offerings that emerged several years ago.  The Sprint offering, for example, reportedly offers end-to-end, 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard encryption for Palm and Pocket PC devices.

The carrier says that enterprise administrators can set a security policy and control access to applications. To further enhance security, customers can connect from the carrier’s mobile access point to their own enterprise network over an IP VPN or a frame relay connection using a recently announced service called PCS Data Link. 

Sprint says data is never replicated outside the company firewall through third party servers. Administrators can reportedly use a Web-based management system to remotely remove all corporate data if a device is lost or stolen.