Universal Music International's (UMI) Universal Mobile unit has clinched a European deal to offer truetone ringtones to customers of international cell-phone operator Orange.

Universal Music International's (UMI) Universal Mobile unit has clinched a European deal to offer truetone ringtones to customers of international cell-phone operator Orange.

The deal, which becomes effective in July, will enable more than 40 million Orange customers in nine European markets to buy truetones of tracks from such UMI acts as the Black Eyed Peas, Gabrielle, the Rasmus and Mario Wynans. The core of UMI's catalog is available for the new service, subject to clearance from artists.

Truetone ringtones are based on original master recordings.

"This is our second pan-European agreement with an operator; the first one was in December with T-Mobile," Universal Mobile president/CEO Cedric Ponsot tells Billboard.biz. "The rollout of the services will start in July and should be completed by September."

The countries covered by the deal include France, where Orange, a subsidiary of telecommunications giant France Telecom, has 20.4 million registered subscribers. In the United Kingdom, Orange is the market leader, with 13.8 million customers. The other markets covered are Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia and Romania.

Orange customers will be able to access the truetones via their local versions of the Orange World entertainment portal. Only Orange handsets incorporating the Open Mobile Alliance's digital rights management standard will be compatible with the new service.

The price per ringtone will range from 1.5 euros ($1.80) in the Eastern European markets to 3 euros ($3.60) or more in Western and Northern Europe.

Ponsot says Universal Mobile is already supplying full-track downloads to cell phones in Britain and Germany via O2, the mobile-music service from European operator mmO2.

Wireless full-track deals with more operators will be announced soon, Ponsot says.