3, the mobile operator, is claiming that it has made history today by helping a band called Planet Funk be the first mobile-only single.

Keen to promote its music download credentials, 3 is allowing the newly formed band to release their debut single in the UK on the 3 mobile network, following their success on 3's sister music service in Italy.

With average sales of over 200,000 tracks per month, 3's audio service has made up over 53% of mobile track downloads since the start of 2006, according to the Official Charts Company (OCC), the body responsible for compiling the UK charts.

"Planet Funk fans can download the full-length audio track to both their mobile and PC with one single purchase of 99p", the operator said in a statement.

3 will be mounting a marketing campaign to promote the single to its 3.5 million customers in the run-up to release in May in the hope that when it comes to a chart listing, the extra support will push it further up the chart.

This will include a dedicated microsite offering information on the band, competitions and free downloads as well as promotion on 3's Today on 3 portal.

The track will also be seeded as a free dialtune available to 3 customers, so anyone calling them will hear the track while they are waiting for the phone to be answered.

This month Crazy by duo Gnarls Barclay became the first track to hit No 1 on the strength of digital downloads alone.