T-Mobile USA recently said it has little interest in offering mobile music or mobile television services because rivals Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless have not seen overwhelming uptake of those services--the carrier even lauded itself for having the foresight to wait to deploy a 3G network. Cingular, however, has a 3G network and, as of the last count at least, the carrier boasts the largest subscriber base in the U.S. That's why Cingular's absence from the mobile music scene has been noticeable, but if The Wall Street Journal's "people familiar with the matter" are to be believed, the carrier is set to announce a mobile music offering in the coming days.
Cingular's as yet unnamed service will support the transferring music from computers to cellphones by use of a cable--no over-the-air (OTA) to start. In what the WSJ is calling a first for mobiles, users will be able to transfer music acquired from "all-you-can-eat" music subscription plans like Napster to Go, Yahoo's Y Music Unlimited or eMusic, which are each partnering with Cingular for the service. Songs ripped from CDs or downloaded in MP3 or Windows Media formats can also be transferred to the handsets. One differentiating feature allows users to hold their mobiles up to a music player so that the phone can identify the song. Next year, the OTA component is set to launch.
For more on Cingular's mobile music launch:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- and check out FierceMobileContent's take on the service