Deals with Universal, Sony BMG.

U.K.-based wireless operator O2 is enhancing its music offering through a host of content partnerships.

In what it boasts as one of the "most significant music licensing deals to date," O2 today (Feb. 13) said it has extended its content partnership with Universal Music to include a greater array of mobile products. Through the new pact, O2 users will have access to 100,000 Universal titles to purchase as full-track audio downloads, master ring tones, wallpaper or music videos.

Content from British-signed acts Keane, Snow Patrol and Razorlight will be included in the offering.

"This new relationship between Universal Music U.K. and O2 is significant on two counts," comments Rob Wells, Universal Music U.K.'s divisional director of new media. "It builds on our existing fruitful relationship and provides our artists with additional exposure and revenue. I'm looking forward to maintaining our position as O2's number one music partner."

O2 was one of the first firms to deliver full-downloads to cell phones in Europe when it opened for business in Germany in 2003. Universal was one of the first record companies to clear content for its "over-the-air" download service.

Separately, O2 says it is in "advanced negotiations" with digital music service provider Loudeye to offer a converged mobile and home entertainment platform.

Due to launch later this year, the ramped-up O2 Music service will allow users to search, preview and buy full tracks through their handsets or their computers and port them to a selection of digital devices.

In other news, Sony BMG's Columbia Label Group has struck an agreement to promote artist-signing Upper Room through O2's platforms. O2 will present a range of content from the four-piece Brighton, England band ahead of their debut album release this August.

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