Cellphone manufacturer Nokia and mobile network Vodafone both launched online music operations today, offering markedly different services to their U.K. customers.

Vodafone's MusicStation subscription service was launched this morning by pop act Girls Aloud at a media reception in London. It is described at the "first ever unlimited mobile music download" service in the United Kingdom, available Vodaphone customers with one of 13 compatible handsets currently available. MusicStation will also shortly be available on Blackberry smartphones.

Users can download, share and play unlimited amounts of music for a fixed weekly fee of £1.99 ($4.15) per week. The service is operated by mobile music company Omnifone, and offers 1.2 million tracks from the four majors plus independent labels.

Independent mobile retailer Phones 4u has linked with MusicStation and will offer customers bundled deals on Vodafone tariffs and music subscription. Vodacom also launched a MusicStation service in South Africa today.

"To date, mobile consumers have had to buy music, track by track," said Rob Lewis, CEO of Omnifone, in a statement. "MusicStation's launch on Vodafone brings the next generation of affordable digital music to the masses. U.K. consumers now have the freedom to download, share and play unlimited amounts of music, direct to their phone, whenever they want."

The Nokia Music Store also went live today, offering access from a desktop computer or directly from Nokia devices, beginning with the Nokia N81 and Nokia N95, both on sale from today. Tracks cost £0.80 ($1.66) and there is an option for a monthly subscription for PC streaming at £8 ($16.68).

"The Nokia Music Store offers great usability along with a huge selection of music," said Richard Sandford, Regional Manager, Nokia Music U.K. & Ireland in a statement. "By having an integrated mobile and PC download service, the Nokia Music Store is a fantastic way to build a music collection that is truly mobile."

Nokia claims its service offers "millions" of tracks from major and independent labels alongside interactive features such as personal track recommendations.

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