The Orange Music Store is to offer music free of Digital Rights Management in the U.K. in partnership with Universal Music, EMI Music and a number of independent labels.

The DRM-free catalog amounts to more than 700,000 tracks and it will be "enhanced" in the next few months at the converged mobile and Web music download service, which delivers purchased tracks to both the mobile handset and PC. It will allow users the freedom to transfer music to different MP3 players and burn CDs.

Orange, part of the France Telecom Group, is also introducing new tiered pricing, with downloads starting at 79 pence ($1.28). The Orange Music Store has also upgraded its appearance with enhanced browsing and navigation.

"Orange is committed to providing customers with the widest access to music tracks and content," said Paul Jevons, director of products, portals and services for Orange, in a statement. "Upgrading the music portal and introducing DRM-free music helps customers enjoy music how and when they want. We look forward to enhancing the DRM-free music catalog over the coming months."

Orange claims almost 17 million customers in the U.K. - 15.8 million active mobile customers and close to one million fixed broadband customers.

Vodafone announced in March that it would offer DRM-free music from Universal Music, Sony Music and EMI in various countries. Germany, Italy, U.K., Spain and New Zealand are the first territories to go DRM-free for Vodafone this summer.