Did you know that you can get mobile email on your cell phone, even without having to install any complicated software or setting up an additional account with a mobile service operator? In fact, sending and receiving email on a cell phone is no more complicated than sending a text message. What exactly is involved? Let us break it down for you and make it as easy as possible!
Mobile Email on a Cell Phone
Most newer cell phone models -- regardless of whether you have a LG Chocolate Phone, Motorola RAZR, or just a simple handset from Cricket -- are capable of mobile e-mail. One of the easiest and fastest ways for you to check is to simply ask the retailer that you bought your phone from in the first place, as they will usually know the ins and outs of those particular models.
If you want to find out for yourself, simply go to the Phonebook feature on your mobile phone and select any given entry. Note that this will likely only work with contacts you have stored on the phone memory itself, rather than on the SIM card found on most GSM phones. Next, you will likely see a number of fields that you can fill in, like a name, mobile phone number, work phone number, and so on. One of these fields may read "email". If you input that person's email address there, you can now send emails to them!
Sending an email is very similar to sending a text message, so however you access that feature on your phone, it's probably about the same for an email. Enter the appropriate text, click send, and off it goes. But what is your email address?
Your Mobile Email Address
Not all cell phone accounts come with an email address, but most do, whether you actually use it or not. For example, if you are on Fido in Canada (a subsidiary of Rogers Wireless) like I am, then your cell phone's email address is your ten digit phone number @fido.ca. For example, if your phone number is 604-123-4567, then your email address would be email@example.com. Systems for other providers like Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile will likely be similar, though it is best to check with your mobile operator directly.
Where is It All Stored?
Most mobile phones do not come with all that much internal storage, so your mailbox will fill up pretty quickly if you're sending and receiving a lot of messages. As such, several cell phone service providers will give you webmail access to your account, not unlike the free email addresses that you can get from Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail, and so on. The interface probably won't be as flashy and jazzy, but it also will have fewer (if any) advertisements as well. Here, you can set the options and preferences as well, so that it will (or won't) automatically delete messages as they arrive on your phone, whether the emails get forwarded to another address, and so on.
Beware of Data Charges
Check your cell phone plan carefully because it may or may not include an allowance for mobile email. Most plans don't, unless you already subscribe to a data plan of some sort for your BlackBerry PDA phone or other smartphone. Some plans treat short text emails the same way as text messages; others do not. Again, this is something that you may want to check with your service provider, unless you want a big surprise on your bill at the end of the month!
Other than that, happy emailing!