Omnifone's MusicStation to rival iPhone

Mobile music company Omnifone unveiled its mobile phone music subscription service MusicStation, going live in Sweden with other European markets set to follow in the coming weeks, an Associated Press report said.

The move is part of the British company's plan to take a major piece of the market before Apple brings its sought-after iPhone to market in Europe and elsewhere, the Associated Press report also said.

'They will be in stores on a wide variety of handsets, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, giving European consumers the ability to access their music from anywhere,' Omnifone CEO Rob Lewis, quoted by the Associated Press report, said. 'We've got to market first and ahead of the iPhone by many, many months.'

Scandinavian provider Telenor launched the service with a weekly subscription price of 25 kronor ($3.55), the report said.

The service works by letting users search, download and play music on their mobile phones and sync it with their PC to create playlists that can be shared with other MusicStation users, the report said.

The iPhone is not due to be released in the US until June and a European launch is scheduled for the autumn.

MusicStation is an 'all you can eat' platform that will let subscribers download new songs from several major music labels at a weekly cost of $3.97, including the cost of sending the music to the handset.

The first rollout of the service is in Sweden, followed Britain, France, Germany and several other countries in Europe 'which will be launching or rolling out in the coming weeks,' Lewis said, adding that a similar launch in Asia will come in about 60 days.