Universal Music U.K. has launched a new mobile-phone entertainment portal for hit British boy band McFly, which the label claims is the country's "first official" artist Wireless Application Protocol

Universal Music U.K. has launched a new mobile-phone entertainment portal for hit British boy band McFly, which the label claims is the country's "first official" artist Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) site.

The new mobile portal complements McFly's existing Web site, which received more than 340,000 page impressions and 32,000 unique visits last week (beginning Oct. 4), according to the record company. U.K.-based MPP Global Solutions is hosting, delivering and managing the content for Universal Music U.K.

The service enables cell phone users to get free up-to-the-minute news on the act by dialling 82540 and sending the words "WAP MCFLY" as a text message to their respective mobile operator.

On receiving a personalized identification number, customers will receive up to eight recent news items about McFly's recordings, tours, and details on merchandise available on the act's Web site.

The only charge is for the operator's airtime, which will be added to the user's standard phone bills or deducted from their pay-as-you-go phone cards.

"The first thing McFly fans do after school is log on to their PC; now they can also access information on the act during their school lunch time," says Glenn Cooper, Island Records Group's new media manager.

Extra services are available for additional tariffs. WAP Chat enables McFly fans to speak to one another for £1.50 ($2.70) per day, while users can download a polyphonic ringtone for £3.00 ($5.40) or an image for £2.00 ($3.60).

The Island Records Group-signed band tonight (Oct. 13) concludes a 15-date U.K. tour at London's Hammersmith Apollo. McFly has twice reached the peak of the U.K. singles chart, for "5 Colours in Her Hair" and "Obviously" respectively. In doing so, they replaced the Beatles in the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest British band ever to debut there at No. 1.

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