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J. Service Scie nce & Management, 2009, 3: 186-189
doi:10.4236/jssm.2009.23022 Published Online September 2009 (www.SciRP.org/journal/jssm)
Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSSM
The Utilization of Push Mail in China
Huisong ZHENG1 , Lei CAI2
1College of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunication, Nanjing, China; 1Department of
Economics and Management, Suzhou College of Information Technology, Suzhou, China; 2Yancheng Branch of Jiangsu Company
of China Mobile, Yancheng, China.
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Received February 17th, 2009; revised March 26th, 2009; accepted May 10th, 2009.
Push mail is popu lar to business users in the world. It has been two years since push mail was introduced in to China. In
order to find out the status of its development and utilization, investigation to push mail users is made. The results in-
dicate that the existing subscribers are mostly managers of service enterprises in large and middle-size, such as manu-
facturing, trade, IT and so on. In addition, those subscrib ers are satisfied with push mail, and would like to continue to
use it in the following years. On the other hand, as it is still very small on the population to both terminal users and
enterprise subscribers, some suggestions are made to induce push mail’s development.
Keywords: push mail, value-added service, wireless telecommunication, mobile o ffice, mobile bu siness
With the development of networks and communication
technology, especially wireless communication technol-
ogy, it is a trend of the convergence of Internet and
wireless telecommunication. The concepts of Mobile-
Office and Mobile-Business are already accepted by
most businessmen, and come into use in their works. As
a result, a flood of value-add services on mobile phones
emerge, and some are utilized in business in a large scale,
of which push mail is a typical.
Email is a basic service of Internet all the time, since it
is an important way for people’s communication. Over
thirty percent service is statistically email on Internet. In
two decades, wireless telecommunication technology has
made a great stride, and as a result, more and more con-
tent and service can be provided by mobile phone via
networks. The emergence of push mail changes the con-
ventional way of sending and receiving email because it
could push new mails to users anywhere, anytime on any
Push mail utilizes a mail delivery system with real-
time capability to “push” email through to the client as
soon as it arrives, rather than requiring the client to poll
and collect or pull mail manually . With a push email
smartphone, for example, the client’s mailbox is con-
stantly updated with arriving email without user inter-
vention. An alert will be announced as soon as new mails
arrive at smartphone.
Push mail (Blackberry) was first provided by the
company TIM in 1997. And in the following years, the
company acquired few subscribers and there was no
profit for the service because of few persons conscious
of its importance in business. The “9·11” incident hap-
pened in 2001 was a turn to push mail. Due to the de-
struction of main networks infrastructure, emails on
Internet had no effect, but blackberry worked well. So
push mail was famous in the world and was implemented
by many companies soon. And now RIM is a famous
company in the world, and its incomings exceeded 2
billions in 2005.
The first commercial application on push mail in
China was provided by China Unicom and Beijing
FACIO in April 3, 2005. And on May 17 in the same
year, China Mobile and Beijing LeadTone began to pro-
vide the push mail service. In 2005, push mail is a new
born to Chinese, so few had curiosity in it. But from
2006, push mail brings a great interest both to users and
providers, and was chosen to one of top 10 Telecommu-
nication Service in 2006 .
2. The Features and Impacts of Push Mail
2.1 Push Mail’s Characteristics
Comparing to conventional email using in Internet, push
mail has some characteristics :
HUISONG ZHENG, LEI CAI
1) Timely: push mail, using push technology, pushes
new mail to users’ wireless smartphones in time with an
alert to inform users.
2) Mobility: push mail is a convergence of Internet
and wireless technology, so comparing to email only
receiving and sending through PC, it has an advantage of
mobility, which makes users receive and send mails in
any place, at any time.
3) Flexibility: push mail subscribers can define filter
rules by themselves, and set black lists to prevent some
specific mails. In addition, users can read a lot of types
of annexes directly on smartphone, such as .pdf, .rar,
doc, .xls, .ppt, .jpg, .wav and so on.
4) Security: the mail is transmit ted encrypted, only th e
subscriber can read it using a special handset. Moreover
all the mails are stored in users’ smartphone and backups
in enterprise’ servers, so no one else can get it. If there is
something wrong, for example, the smartphone is miss-
ing, and the subs criber can delete all mails by the control
of mail server. Therefore, it is safe to mails both in the
transmission and storag e for subscribers using push mail.
2.2 Impacts to Users and their Enterprise
1) Instant delivery makes management effectiveness and
increases enterprises’ competition advantage.
In modern society, response to customers instantly is
becoming an important factor to company’ success, es-
pecially for service industries. Push mail service makes it
possible. When email is sent by a customer, it soon ar-
rives at the enterprise mail server, which immediately
pushes the mail to client without waiting for polling. So
it makes worker respond to custo mers in time, as a result
it makes a good impression to customers due to little
2) Cost saving for companies
Currently, when you are away from your computer
and want to check your email, you can use push mail or
sign up to receive SMS (Short Message Service). The
SMS is a wake-up call that Exchange Server sends
through your mobile operator. In our country, you can
either pay per message for each SMS notification you
receive, or pay a monthly rate. But push mail is both a
technology and service based on the combination of
Internet and wireless telecommunication technology.
And the cost of all contents provided by Internet is de-
creasing, so push mail can save a lot of money for enter-
Push mail uses “push” technology to timely send new
mail to subscribers’ mobile phones, which need to be
installed client software before, and been personalized
subscribers requirements. So to those persons often out
of office, especially managers, they don’t need to check
email frequently while sending and receiving emails
anywhere at any time.
3. Surveys on the Utilization of Push Mail in
In our country, email keeps a great growth in recent
years partly because of the drive of networks infrastruc-
ture and wireless telecommunication. And it becomes an
important profit point for network economy, and in turns
forces the sustaining and fast development of network
economy. As surveyed, email is a service using the most
frequently for internet users, and there is more than 162
million email users in China ended on June 30, 2007.
Further more, the popularity of subscribers using mobile
phone reaches at 250 million, of which more than 4 mil-
lion uses smartphones. Push mail is deemed to a key
application of new mobile data services due to its char-
acters and advantages and it is favored by mobile opera-
tors and network providers because of convergence of
mobile business and value-added service.
At present, both two mobile operators have imple-
mented push mail service. But the services they provide
have a lot differences. The Redberry provided by China
Unicom is a service extending from MMS (Multimedia
Messaging Service) and mainly applies for individual
consumers, while the service offered by China Mobile
aims at enterprise customers. China Mobile now can
provide push mail service in 29 cities of the co untry, and
it has acquired a population of about 100 thousand ter-
minal subscribers and 20 thousand enterprise customers
in only one year. In order to find out the u tilization statu s
of push mail service in our country, and the impacts to
enterprises’ performance, we survey some consumers
using push mail provided by China Mobile in a specific
region, which focuses on the consumers’ industry distri-
bution, job position, motivation and the enterprise’s size
and so on.
1) Industry distribution
The survey shows that push mail users in this region
concentrate on manufacturing, tr ade and service Indu s tr ie s,
and their summation is approximately two third in the
2) Subscribers’ job distribution
From the data, we can see that the users of push mail
are mainly managers, especially for those in charge of IT,
sales and marketing, who may be out of office and their
Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSSM
HUISONG ZHENG, LEI CAI 188
industry distribution of push mail consumers
7% 4% 3% 3% 2%
unknown scientific researchlogistic
food real estate
Figure 1. Industry distribution of push mail subsc r i be r s
job's distribution of push mail consumers
managerdeputy managersection managerstuff
Figure 2. Job’s distribution of push mail subscribe r s
scale of enterprises using push mail
motivation to use push mail
0%20% 40% 60% 80%
of ISPs or
Figure 3. Scale of enterprises using push mail
3) Enterprises’ size
To those users, we also investigate their companies’
size, represented by the population of staff, as shown in
the following, which shows that larger and middle-size
enterprises usually are interested in push mail.
continuting to use push mail or not
4) Motivation of using push mail
In order to get the reason why those subscribers are
interested in push mail, we investigate their motivations.
See below. The result indicates that most users want to
receive and reply email instantly.
5) Continuing to use push mail or not
This question “whether you are going to continue to
use push mail in the following years” is more concerned
to service providers. And we can see that most of the
present users would like to keep the usage of push mail
From the survey’s results, we can see that at present,
most of push mail subscribers in this region are in ser-
vice industries, such as manufacturing, trade and finance.
They are usually managers and pay more attentions to
emails, and they would like to use push mail in the future,
which makes a great value to them and their enterprises
primary due to its instant delivery and quick response to
4. Suggestions to Push Mail’s Spread
After over one year’s development, push mail is famous
to businessmen in China. But comparing to that in some
other countries, the number of subscribers is still very
small, and its proportion to wireless users is even little.
So there is a great opportunity for its development. Ac-
cording to th e survey, we make some suggestion for both
mobile operators and ISPs to induce a progress in push
mail’s utilization [4,5 ,6].
1）Making efforts to further propagation
An effect way to make a new product or service fa mou s
is to propagate it in public. It is only two years before
Figure 4. Motivations of subscribe r s using pus h mail
Figure 5. Continue to use push mail or not
Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSSM
HUISONG ZHENG, LEI CAI
Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSSM
push mail came into China, so it is still a new born both
to Chinese enterprises and staff. China Mobile and ISP
(LeadTone) should make their more efforts to introduce
push mail to Chinese enterprises, focusing on its charac-
ters and differences from conventional email.
2）Focusing on manufacturing, IT, finance, service
enterprises subscribers, especially on large and mid-
Push mail is set to aim at corporation customers and
the surveys shows that the corporations interested in
push mail are mainly in large and middle-size. So China
Mobile and ISP (LeadTone) should focus on those large
and middle-size enterprises, especially in manufacturing,
IT, finance, and service industries, because they are more
emphasis on information infrastructure and the capacity
for instantly response to customers’ mails.
3）Decreasing tariff to attract more subscribers
At present, there are two tariff of push mail provided
by China, that is, 98 Yuan per month and 148 Yuan per
month. Although it is much less than Blackberry pro-
vided by RIM, it is still too much to most staff. In order
to obtain more subscribers and increase profit, China
Mobile and ISP (LeadTone) should decrease tariff to
make it suitable to the actua l situation in China.
4）Improving service capability to sustain existing
subscribers. The cost of developing a new subscriber is
much more than that of su staining the existing one. So it
is very important to sustain subscribers through some
policies, of which service especially service after sale is
crucial for push mail. Therefore, to China Mobile and
ISP, it is necessary for them to set some policies such as
telephone visit, on-site service.
Push mail, belonging to value-added service, is a com-
bination of wireless telecommunication and Internet.
Push mail is new but important to Chinese businessmen,
and in recent two years, it has a great stride in utilization.
Through the survey, we can get the conclusion that tho se
service industries with larger and middle-size enterprises
are interested in push mail, and now mobile operators
and ISPs are mainly emphasize on the managers of those
enterprises. And we can also obtain that the existing
subscriber are satisfying with push mail and would con-
tinue to use it in the following years. Push mail is so
successful in Chinese value-added market and it will be
better in few years.
I’d like to thank Xiang Datian at AnHui Branch of Bei-
jing LeadTone Company for his kindly help and some
useful data of push mail users and applications.
 S. Li, “The development status of wireless push email in
the global market,” Communication World, No. 28, pp.
 Chinese 10 top Telecommunication Service in 2006,
 Introduction to Push Mail,
 J. Wu, “The situation and challenge of wireless push
email in China [J],” Communication World, No. 28, pp.
 G. Long and W. Q. Shu, “Great potential of wireless push
email [J],” Communication World, No. 44, pp. 51, 2006.
 T. Guo, “Analysis on development of push mail service
in telecommunication networks,” Telecommunications
Network Technology, No. 4, pp. 13-15, 2007.