Orange has launched a service for its small business customers enabling them to pick up email on the move using a PDA or notebook, linked to a GPRS (general packet radio service) mobile phone.

The service – called Mobile Email – can be set up from any of the 700 Orange-affiliated retail outlets if you have a PDA with an SD (secure digital) card slot, or by visiting the Orange website to download the software to a laptop.

Orange’s 156 data service helpline, (on 09076 100 156), provides assistance at the time of downloading and gives ongoing support for data users.

The service works with the most popular ISPs – except AOL – and once installed it provides email and web access from the PDA or laptop via the GPRS phone. The phone can be linked to the PDA or laptop using Bluetooth, infrared or serial cable.

Mobile Email is free to set up, but obviously Orange is using it to promote mobile data services, the tariffs for which it has recently adjusted downwards, introducing a new pay-as-you-use, £3 per megabyte charge.

Bundles of 1, 2 and 4MB can be prepaid at £3 per MB and bundles of 7, 15 and 30MB can be prepaid for £1.50 per MB.

“Small businesses with no in-house IT department can see the benefit of mobile data services, but don’t know where to start,” said Andrew Millard, Orange product manager. “But by doing all the configuration for you, Orange Mobile Email takes away the need for any technical knowledge beyond operating a PDA.”