Ericsson and Napster announced a global partnership to offer the first complete, fully integrated digital music service available for mobile operators.
The service will carry the universally known Napster brand and combine elements of Napster's popular PC offering and Ericsson's personalized music service, currently utilized by more mobile operators than any other in the world.
The Napster and Ericsson business model accommodates mobile operator participation in all revenue streams. The service is scheduled to go live in Europe during the next 12 months and will initially be offered to operators in selected markets in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America.
Chris Gorog, Napster's Chairman and CEO says: "Ericsson's world-leading wireless and telecommunications solutions experience, along with their exceptional client base, make them the ideal partner to deepen Napster's presence in the global mobile arena."
"Ericsson and Napster are uniquely suited to offer mobile operators a simple, cohesive and personalized digital music experience for their consumers," he adds.
The new service will support coordinated wireless and PC downloading of digital music in both subscription and a la carte models, and phone-based initiation will ensure convenient and easy music library access for both mobile and PC usage.
The service scales to current handset models and networks but can also accommodate next-generation technology for newer handsets on higher-speed networks and is designed to work on mobile phones from all major manufacturers that support content protected by digital rights management.
The flexible platform delivers a complete digital music solution under one brand via a consistent user interface and with billing consolidated by mobile operators.
Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, agrees with Gorog's statement: "With Napster we are uniquely positioned to deliver the easy to use, complete suite of music offerings our customers are asking for."
"We gain access to the biggest digital music brand in the world and exposure to the largest music catalog available, which will not only increase our customer's consumer offerings and revenues but substantially strengthen their own brand image as well," he says.
Napster's brand, catalog, label relationships, programming, PC and portable offerings will be combined with Ericsson's operator relationships, wireless development, integration, hosting, deployment and support and IPX charging system.
The service will allow mobile operators to seize growth opportunities for personalized digital entertainment on the mobile phone and PC and will also encompass ring tones, master tones, images, wallpaper and video content.
Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.