March 27, 2008, Updated September 13, 2012

Using Tjat’s technology you can check, send and receive emails on your cellphone as if you were using your own email account.It’s the kind of thing that can bring on a headache: the flashy new cellphone – with all the bells and whistles – won’t let you hook up to your email account or online address book. Either the special software you need doesn’t install properly, or those very important emails that should come through, are only received part of the time.

Making the cellphone to email hassle go away is the Israeli startup company Tjat (pronounced t-jat) – the name coming from Swedish “to heckle.” The company’s online solution has successfully bridged the gap between your PC and cellphone, without the pain of having to install anything.

Compatible with cellphones old and new, the Tjat system is currently being used by over two million people around the world. ISRAEL21c caught Tjat’s CEO Gideon Drori on the phone, during a rare moment when he wasn’t attending an international conference somewhere.

“In short,” says Drori, originally from Los Angeles, Internet messaging through the cell phone “is complicated, expensive and hasn’t been working for the last five years. Tjat says that our system works on any phone and that we will connect you into your account.”

Holding no grudges against the companies “that build clients,” says Drori, “when you download something through the airwaves, something can go wrong.” He estimates that over 65 percent of the time, programs designed to facilitate the email to cellphone capability, simply don’t work. He also mentions the problem of cellphone viruses.

Yet instant messaging and email remains one of the most popular methods for online communications in America. Tjat’s online-based system (accessed through the company’s web site) lets people connect directly and efficiently to any email service, including popular ones like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail.

Using your mobile phone, you can check, send and receive as if you are using your own email account, says the company.

On top of that, Tjat subscribers get a personal storage area for uploading or downloading pictures and videos without the need to connect to a PC. Tjat says it can help you share “photographic moments and experiences with anyone, anytime, and more importantly anywhere.”

How does it do it? Instead of requiring users to download new software, Tjat went around the problem. “We did away with the operating system,” says Drori. The online platform opens the door to cellphone users who are not willing to invest money in buying client applications.

Based instead on terminal-server architecture, Tjat offers a number of benefits to wireless operators such as low maintenance costs, compatibility with all cellular phones, with no technical support or help-desk costs.

Most exciting to cellular operators, notes Drori, is an extremely high usage rate – each subscriber is currently producing about 2 MG worth of traffic each day, whereas the average amount for non-Tjat users is 40 times less, at about 50 KB.

Based in Tel Aviv, Tjat was founded in 2004 as a garage startup by young and ambitious computer professionals. In May 2006, the company received an investment that helped it go live. The company has been growing since.

Tjat sees itself as an attractive service for cellphone operators. Apparently the largest cellphone operator in the US does too. Drori didn’t want to disclose the name, but boasts that his platform can increase revenue (which will be shared with Tjat) with no cost to the phone operator.

Spanish-speaking Americans will be happy to know that Tjat is also able to operate and interface with multiple languages such as Spanish – a service that no other company has been able to provide to date, says Drori. Other languages currently available include English Arabic, Hebrew and Russian and about 10 others.


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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director