A UK company called Omnifone is hoping to wipe any future prospect of Apple dominating the mobile phone music business with the launch of music player that works on over 75% of handsets available today.
Called MusicStation, the all-you-can-eat full-track mobile music service, which works in a similar way to Napster on the PC will be rolled-out in partnership with major music labels, mobile operators and mobile industry partners across the world.
The application, which has taken 4 years to develop will cost £1.99 per week.
“MusicStation will give users of any music-capable handset the ability to legally access, download and enjoy an unlimited amount of music, from a global music catalogue supported by the music industry, all for a small weekly fee, wherever they are”, said Rob Lewis, CEO of Omnifone.
As well as working in collaboration with the world’s major music labels, Omnifone says it has already signed partnerships with 23 mobile network operators, who have subscribers in 40 countries and a total customer base of 690 million subscribers.
The first operator partners to announce Rollout Agreements for MusicStation will be Scandinavian network operator Telenor and Vodafone partner network Vodacom in South Africa. Four more networks will be launching across major territories in Western Europe and Asia-Pacific in Q2 2007 and these rollouts will be announced in these local markets in the near future. Further European operators plan rollouts Q3 2007.
Omnifone confirms the countries its partners have active mobile phone networks in include: Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and UK.
MusicStation provides a complete music experience, enabling users to search for music, download and play music on their mobile, Mac/PC, create, manage and share playlists and tracks with the MusicStation community, and view the latest music news.
All of this functionality, including music downloads, takes place in the background whilst music is being played.
Unlike Apple’s recently-announced iPhone, MusicStation downloads its music over-the-air (OTA) across the MNO’s data network, giving users instant access to new music at any time, irrespective of their location.
MusicStation also works on both 3G and 2.5G networks.
MusicStation includes content from major labels. Tracks won't be transferable from the device.