It will propose unlimited downloads to handsets.
French mobile telephone operator SFR is about to announce imminently the launch of an unlimited music download subscription service for mobile phones, Billboard.biz has learned.
According to sources close to the project, SFR’s third generation (3G) customers will have access to more than 100,000 titles to be downloaded without limits on their mobile handset through a subscription service.
SFR currently only offers customers a track-by-track download service. Its full-track catalogue includes almost 500,000 titles, but all the rights for this new service have not been cleared so far for the new service, according to sources.
Likewise web-based tethered subscription models such as Rhapsody or Naspter, customers who cancel their subscription will not be able to listen to the downloaded songs anymore on their handset.
The monthly subscription fee for the service is set to roughly €15 ($ 18.6). It is understood that record labels will be paid on a prorata basis of the downloads. To date, only four models of handsets are compatible with the service, all from Nokia's S60 series.
Billboard.biz understand that the service will powered by Paris-based international mobile-music service provider Musiwave. The service is likely to be live soon in several of the 20 or so countries in which Musiwave runs operations, sources say. Musiwave was acquired last September by U.S. company Openwave Systems.
Following the tracks of Vodafone in the U.K., SFR will also announce the launch of its Radio DJ service, a personalized streamed music radio based on a customized version of the StreamMan platform hosted by Sony NetServices, a Sony Corp. subsidiary.
Both Musiwave and SFR declined to comment.