mBlox is launching the first music track download services where consumers pay "one price" to download music with no additional operator data charges.
The services, which are launching this week in the UK, are made possible through mBlox's wholesale data service and are being provided by music labels Ministry of Sound (MoS) and V2. The services will include new releases and classic tracks from artists including Stereophonics (Dakota), The Rakes (All Too Human), Lethal Bizzle (Mind Your Head), Studio B (I See Girls), Boogie Pimps (Somebody to Love) and DJ Sammy (Heaven).
The operators' data charges for downloading content are often cited as the reason for the slow uptake of rich media services on mobile. Today, consumers are not only paying for the value of the content via premium billing, but also for the cost of the data traffic to deliver the content.
Consequently songs that are approximately 1MB in size can cost consumers the GBP 1.50 charge for the song plus an additional GBP 8 in data charges (data charges may vary). These extra charges make the cost of downloading music of other media content to mobile unacceptably high.
Wholesale data is available to Vodafone customers only. Orange expects to offer this service shortly as it considers wholesale data as the core to the long-term development of the mobile media market.
The other UK operators are expected to make the facility available within a few months.