BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS -- Omnifone Announces MusicStation Max Direct to Mobile Unlimited Music Service -- Omnifone Signs Partnership With LG to Introduce the First Handset Worldwide to Incorporate MusicStation Max -- MusicStation Max Phones to be Demonstrated to Key Operators, Press and Analysts During Mobile World Congress, Barcelona Omnifone, which provides unlimited music download services in partnership with major operators worldwide, announces the launch of the MusicStation Max unlimited mobile music handset programme. In partnership with major handset manufacturers and operators, MusicStation Max will give consumers the freedom to download, play and share unlimited amounts of music, wherever they are, for free, directly to their MusicStation Max pre-licensed music phones. Omnifone announces LG is the first manufacturer to sign up for the MusicStation Max programme, with the first LG MusicStation Max handsets due to be released in the first half of 2008. The first MusicStation Max devices will be compatible with any 3G/HSDPA network, and gives consumers a next generation touch-screen user interface with immediate access to the world's music, wherever they are. MusicStation Max handsets are pre-licensed, meaning consumers do not have to pay for music but simply sign up to a special music, voice and data plan, which will enable them to download unlimited amounts of music, direct to their device, over the mobile network, for between 12 and 18 months.(i) At the end of this initial period, MusicStation Max users will be able to migrate their consumer experience to their next MusicStation Max device and continue experiencing the benefits of unlimited music downloads, or alternatively keep playing their favourite tracks on their current phone for no extra charge. "Consumers will come to expect unlimited mobile music downloads direct to their phone, whenever they want," said Rob Lewis, CEO of Omnifone. "The new MusicStation Max handsets will give consumers the ultimate music freedom; the ability to download, discover, play and share whatever music they want, wherever they are." MusicStation Max features a full PC companion product which gives consumers an automatically-synchronised experience across both desktop and mobile handset. Changes in tracks, artists, albums, playlists, friends and recommendations are automatically synchronised, without the need for wires or human intervention. A full back-up of the MusicStation Max user experience is also stored in real time on the data network, in case of handset failure, loss or theft. Lewis added, "Unlike traditional music phones, consumers will have their entire MusicStation Max experience, including their playlists, friends and recommendations, backed up on the data network in case their device is ever lost, broken or stolen. Users will never lose their music experience ever again". LG first to market with MusicStation Max LG will work with Omnifone to introduce a range of pre-licensed high speed 3G and HSDPA unlimited music download mobile handsets, during the first half of 2008. "MusicStation Max gives LG the opportunity to deliver a handset that can download unlimited amounts of music, direct-to-mobile, over the mobile data network," said Dominique Oh, V.P. of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. Oh added, "We are focused on working closely with our operator partners around the world. We see MusicStation Max as a hero handset for unlimited music downloads. It reinforces our strategy to deliver not only beautiful handsets, but handsets that deliver higher subscriber revenues and ARPU to our operator partners. And for the consumer they now have further opportunity get unlimited access to the music they want, wherever they are, over 3G and HSDPA." MusicStation Max opens up mobile music revenues Partner networks distributing MusicStation Max will be establishing a series of special music, voice and data plans when they stock the product, enabling consumers to access whatever music they want, whenever they want, wherever they are. Because the handsets are pre-licensed, the operator retains the full value of the MusicStation Max music, voice and data plan. MusicStation Max not only enables monetisation of the data network and increases ARPU, but is designed to also increase customer loyalty. Uniquely, MusicStation Max comes with sophisticated community features, including sharing of playlists and tracks with friends and personalised music recommendations. MusicStation Max provides an opportunity for partner operators to attract new high value customers. Because subscriber playlists, library, friends and profiles are automatically restored on upgrade or replacement of MusicStation Max handsets, customer loyalty is enhanced and churn reduced. Omnifone and LG also expect existing MusicStation partner networks to consider MusicStation Max devices as hero handsets for distribution through existing retail channels, providing an opportunity for those operators to offer additional benefits to their subscribers. "Working in partnership with handset manufacturers as well as carriers on a global basis, we will enable a wider audience of mobile users to get access to unlimited music, whenever they want, wherever they are, directly over the mobile phone data network," said Lewis. Omnifone already has international license agreements in place for unlimited music downloads with all four major international music labels and many hundreds of independent labels for MusicStation. Lewis added, "We intend to deliver the ultimate flexibility and value to MusicStation Max users, providing handsets with free unlimited access to a vast catalogue of repertoire from all the major labels and many independents." Analyst opinion David Sidebottom, Mobile Industry Analyst at Understanding & Solutions commented, "The service is the next step in the evolution of mobile music. By 2011, the total mobile music market will be worth in excess of $11bn worldwide, with unlimited mobile music services set to be a key component of these revenues." MusicStation Max previews Key journalists, analysts and operator partners will be invited to attend a sneak preview of the first MusicStation Max phone during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Journalists and analysts attending should note that photography will not be permitted.
(i) Dependent on operator contract. -- Omnifone is exhibiting at Mobile World Congress, Fira de Barcelona, Hall 7, Stand C69. -- Omnifone CEO Rob Lewis will be speaking at the Mobile World Congress Mobile BackStage event at the Palau Nacional, Fira de Barcelona on Wednesday 13/02/2008 at 10:45am - 11:45am: Panel Title: "Music Unlimited" About Omnifone Omnifone is Europe's leading direct to mobile unlimited music download service provider. Partners include the likes of Vodafone, Telenor, 3 Hong Kong and Vodacom. Over 25 other operators have engaged as partners. In 2007, Omnifone won the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) Music Service Award, the Red Herring EMEA and Red Herring Global 100 Awards, and in 2008, the Juniper Research Future Mobile Award's Gold Award for Mobile Music. Omnifone is nominated for Best Mobile Music Service at the upcoming 2008 Global Mobile Awards. The company is based at Island Studios, London with regional HQs in Asia Pacific. For further information please visit; http://www.omnifone.com About MusicStation MusicStation is an unlimited music download service that will run on virtually all 2.5G/3G/HSDPA music compatible mobiles. MusicStation provides a virtually identical next generation community based user experience across all manufacturer handsets. Built-in networked functions provide the ability to make friends, build and share playlists and individual tracks with other mobile users and receive music news and recommendations based on player behaviour using collaborative filtering and nearest neighbour technology. MusicStation stores downloaded tracks on the phone's internal or removable memory and these and the related meta-data are fully backed up so that if a user's mobile is stolen, lost or upgraded, the replacement handset will automatically restore the customer's music, playlists, friends and preferences to the replacement handset. MusicStation users can listen to downloaded tracks when in Flight Safe mode and have unlimited access to the full catalogue when connected to a 2.5G/3G/HSDPA network.
SOURCE Omnifone Limited