Your Emails on Your Mobile Phone

What if you could access your personal email from your mobile phone? This is indeed possible with some phone models and with most “smartphones” that have an “e-mail client”. This function will allow you – under certain conditions – to import your e-mails from your personal e-mail account and reply to them via a GPRS connection. In other words, it will not replace consulting and writing emails on the computer, which is much more comfortable, but it can help in some cases.

Please note that the solution we detail below is independent of the operators’ offers consisting in proposing to their subscribers an email account hosted by themselves. These offers are generally accompanied by SMS alert services for incoming messages, reading e-mails by voice synthesis, printing to a fax machine, etc.

What is the configuration of the e-mail client?

Receiving emails on your mobile phone depends of course on the configuration of the phone. It’s not rocket science, it’s exactly like setting up an e-mail program on a computer: the e-mail client on the mobile phone needs the same settings. This configuration is a bit tedious, due to the small numeric keypad, but you can still do it! First of all, make sure that the Internet Service provider which hosts your e-mail account(s), uses the following mail server access protocols: POP3 and/or IMAP4 for incoming messages and SMTP for outgoing messages. Rest assured, these are standard protocols used by most ISPs. The configuration of the e-mail account differs according to the model of mobile phone, so please read the user manual before starting. In some cases, the process is guided, in others, don’t hesitate to visit the sub-menus!

Which parameters do I have to enter?

1- Username or Login: is the part of your email address before the at: [email protected]

2- Password: inseparable from the username, this code is communicated by the access provider or chosen by you.

3- Incoming server name (POP3 or IMAP): this address allows the mailbox to go to the right server (via GPRS connection) and send your login and password to retrieve messages. It is generally presented in this form: “pop3.monfournisseur.fr” or “imap.monfournisseur.fr”. Your service provider’s technical support may be able to provide it to you.

4- Outgoing server name (SMTP): is the “trap” part of the process! The SMTP server takes care of sending your messages. But in the case of a GPRS connection, you won’t be able to use the SMTP server of your access provider (and mail account provider by the way), because the latter doesn’t allow sending mails if the connection used is not activated via its own service. To get around this problem, the three French mobile operators each provide their own outgoing Server address SFR subscribers, enter “mail.sfr.net”. Orange subscribers, enter “smtp.orange.fr”. Finally, Bouygues Télécom subscribers, enter “smtp.bouygtel.fr”.

How do I receive my e-mails?

Of course make sure that your mobile phone is set up for GPRS connections. Normally, if you are able to send and receive MMS messages and access your operator’s WAP portal, your phone is set up correctly. If this is not the case (in particular with certain mobiles purchased without a subscription and not integrating pre-recorded GPRS connection profiles), you must call your operator to retrieve the parameters. Then simply find the Send/Receive Emails function in the phone’s mailbox or set up the mailbox to check for new messages at a frequency of your choice. The phone then connects to the GPRS network and will query the server. It will only repatriate the mail headers and the name of the sender, in order to limit the volume of data transfer knowing that GPRS connections are charged by the kilobyte. Just click on the message you are interested in to download its content. Be careful, many phones restrict the downloading of messages that are too large. For example, some phones cannot retrieve messages larger than 50 KB.

Only the mail header is downloaded: then select the message you wish to read.

If I receive my emails on my phone, can I retrieve them on my computer again later?

Absolutely. By default, mail retrieved by the POP3 protocol remains on your ISP’s server until you query your mail through your usual Internet software.

Can I download and open my attachments?

It depends on the volume and type of the attached file. As explained above, e-mails that are too large cannot be recovered, which is all the more likely if they contain an attached file. Usually, a small icon indicates an email with an attachment, and usually you will be told whether or not it is possible to download it. Regarding the file type, multimedia phones are able to display small images in JPEG, GIF and BMP. Forget about office documents, except for small .TXT texts. Some smartphones (such as the Sony Ericsson P910i and the SPV C500) have more advanced messaging and applications that support the loading and opening of attached files: images in .JPG but also text in .DOC, tables in .XLS or presentations in .PDF or .PPT.

How do I send my e-mails?

You can answer an email received in the mailbox of your phone. This feature is normally provided in the Message Options menu. Just as you can create and send a message, and even attach a file saved in the phone’s memory such as a picture or sound.

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