Telecom has reached the 50,000 user mark on its new CDMA cellular network but plans to push that out to 120,000 by June next year, according to its quarterly report.
Part of that push will be Telecom's new service for Xtra customers that allows emails to be received and sent from a CDMA phone. Each email sent or received costs the user 35 cents flat rate.
"Increasingly the internet's most valuable applications, like email, will be delivered to consumers via their mobile phone and devices other than a PC. This is a first major step in delivering that flexibility to our customers," says Xtra's consumer general manager, Rod Snodgrass.
Telecom already offers a partial email service to customers in the form of its Djuice website - users can send email to certain cellphones but not from them.
Vodafone offers a similar service using a Microsoft Ericsson joint venture, MOSO, which can serve email from Microsoft Outlook to the user's cellphone. Vodafone users can get an email alert service that sends the first 160 characters of any email to the cellphone in the form of a text message.