Sprint/RealNetworks to provide cell phone Internet radio and podcasts in US

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Wireless provider Sprint announced today, that they would be working with RealNetworks to launch a streaming music service, for Sprint wireless customers, called Rhapsody Radio.

The service will allow users to listen to podcasts and six streaming radio stations (rap, hip-hop hits, alternative, country, '70s, and music news) from their mobile phone. Users will be able to listen to live broadcasts of those stations over their cellular connection. For a monthly subscription fee of $6.95, users will also have unlimited access to commercial-free radio broadcasts. Selected streaming podcasts from KCRW, Santa Monica 89.9 FM, and National Public Radio’s Southern California station will also be available. A special Beats N Breaks stream is also available. Beats N Breaks provides background music from hip-hop songs for users to rap with.

Rhapsody Radio service requires a Sanyo MM-7400, Sanyo MM-5600, Sanyo MM-8300, Samsung IP-A790, Samsung MM-A800, Samsung MM-A880 or an LG MM-535 mobile phone. Customers are able to order directly from their phones, with the charge appearing on their next bill.

Many analysts predicted the introduction of music services by other wireless providers after Apple recently introduced the Motorola ROKR. The Motorola ROKR comes with a version of the iTunes software which allows users to listen to up to 100 songs on their phone. Service for this phone in the USA is provided by Cingular Wireless.

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