Omnifone to Introduce World's First Pre-Licensed Unlimited Mobile Music Phones, With MusicStation Max

Feb 11, 2008, 00:00 ET from Omnifone Limited

    BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS
     -- Omnifone Announces MusicStation Max Direct to Mobile Unlimited Music
     -- 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
     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
     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
     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; 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