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AT&T dials into Napster downloads

22 октября 2007

AT&T’s mobile unit, the largest mobile carrier in the US, will announce plans on Monday for an instant “over-the-air” music download service to be launched next month with Napster, the Los Angeles-based digital music pioneer.

AT&T’s Napster Mobile service will be launched in mid-November and will enable mobile phone subscribers to search, preview, purchase and download music from Napster’s catalogue of more than 4m tracks directly to their handsets.

Single tracks will cost $1.99 each, but subscribers will also be able to purchase up to five tracks a month for $7.49. A back-up copy of purchased tracks will bAT&T dials into Napster downloadse sent automatically to the purchaser’s home PC.

Initially, the service will only be available on one handset which AT&T has yet to identify. But the company said it plans to expand the service to include its portfolio of music phones early next year.

The launch of the new service reflects the growing importance of mobile data services, including music downloads, to US carriers including AT&T which has been upgrading its network to 3G in order to accommodate the bandwidth requirements of over-the-air music and video downloads.

Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, the second and third-largest US mobile carriers, also offer over-the-air music download services run by WiderThan and Groove Mobile, respectively.

AT&T already has several music download options including a direct music download service in conjunction with eMusic, an online retailer specialising in independent music.

In addition, the company also recently launched MobiVJ, a streaming video service from MobiTV, and VIP Access, a mobile fan club and discovery service from Nellymoser.

AT&T also began selling the iPhone under an exclusive agreement with Apple at the end of June. However, iPhone owners cannot download music directly to their devices from the iTunes store.

Источник: Financial Times

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