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  • Hello you. I'm a 38-year old MSc student, studying Advanced Computer Science at Sussex University. I'm especially interested in Internet and mobile software, sensors and pervasive computing, user interfaces, and the process of developing great software.

    Before that I spent 11 years running Future Platforms, a software company I co-founded which makes lovely things for mobile phones, and which I sold in 2011.

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October 27, 2005



How does i-modes's email system work? I read in that article the advice "My advice would be to never give out the actual email address of your phone, that way you can avoid spam while maintaining a useful mobile email option when necessary", but aren't all imode email addresses in the range "44your phone" or something similar?

Won't this lead to a profileration of mobile marketing spam, all the worse for it being charged to the user for receiving (data costs), and free for the sender?

Tom Hume

I presume that this is something that O2 will work hard to prevent - and as a single entity in charge of all incoming email I can imagine they're in a good position to do this.


First of all - there are no charges for recieving incoming emails. And the sending of emails is free until April next year as part of the launch promotion.

The default email address is - but users are encouraged to personalise the addresses from the start. e.g. instructions in the user guides, welcome email etc.

The i-mode service also provides a number of controls to the user for email filtering - e.g. blocking emails from specific addresses - or blocking all emails from non mobile sources altogther (e.g. Internet). Go to "My i-mode" on the portal.

And on top of that - the default behaviour is that if the size of an incoming email from the Internet is greater than 2kilobytes - then the email is actually forwarded to a server - and sub-2K digest is sent to the phone with a link in it - which when the customer clicks on - will fire up a page where the rest of the email can be browsed. There are no charges for browsing emails that have been delivered to this server. If the user wants to change this behaviour - i.e. have all emails sent to the phone inbox rather than this server - then this can be selected by the user from the "My i-mode" section of the portal.

Hope that helps!

Best regards - Jag


Hum; the thing that concerns me (and which El Reg mentioned) is the O2 exclusive on i-mode in the UK. This presents any content provider with an interesting situation; make your stuff available on imode and it'll only sell to O2 subscribers for the foreseeable future. Since O2's market share isn't exactly stunning...

Tom Hume

Ben - actually that's not really any different from the situation with other operators. To work with Vodafone, you'll be producing a PartnerML service; with Orange, an Orange-branded WAP site; etc. The I-mode-specific bit of an I-mode service is quite small - that's not where the effort is.

And O2 see way more demand for data services than other operators. I'll be talking about this a bit next Thursday at World Telemedia, but their customers are way more data-centric. So in a way O2 would be the best operator to do something like this for (if doing it were particularly onerous).

...all of which is not to deny that right now I-mode subscriber numbers are tiny.

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