U.K. media company Virgin Media has insisted it is moving ahead on its unlimited MP3 subscription service, which was due to launch by the end of 2009.

It follows a report by New Media Age suggesting that EMI was finalising an agreement to join the service.

However, the report states that one label source said that negotiations continue but any agreement will require a cap on download allowances. Such a move would remove the selling point of the service, billed as a "world first" unlimited MP3 download offering.

The proposed service by Virgin Media, which provides cable TV and is an Internet Service Provider, was announced this summer with Universal Music on board. It would be available for an additional fee to subscribers and would co-exist with measures to reduce piracy and protect copyrighted material including the "temporary suspension of Internet access."

Virgin Media has partnered with British technology consultancy company Detica to monitor levels of file-sharing.

The company said today (Dec. 9) that it was still its intention to launch an unlimited service, although no launch date is confirmed.

"Virgin Media is forging new ground with our music service and we want to provide a truly compelling offering for both consumers and industry," said a Virgin Media spokeswoman. "We are making good progress in developing the service and in addition to the deal that we have signed with Universal Music, we are currently in talks with both major and independent labels to launch a comprehensive service."