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Britain's Omnifone today launched a new music service that lets cell phone users directly download an unlimited number of songs for a $4 weekly fee. The service, dubbed MusicStation, debuted today in Sweden and will continue to launch across Europe, the Asia-Pacific and Africa in the coming days and weeks featuring over 1 million available songs from the big four labels, Sony/BMG, Warner Music Group, EMI Group and Universal.
Omnifone has agreements with 30 mobile operators to offer the service that will be suitable for 75 percent of mobile handsets already available in the market. The company is targeting 100 million MusicStation phones the within the next 12 months.
"It's hard to imagine a more compelling music experience on mobile than MusicStation," Rob Wells, of Universal Music Group's digital division said. "It works on almost any phone, giving consumers the freedom to choose whatever device they want (and) it allows downloads wherever those consumers are."
The songs can't be transferred to computers, MP3 players or other digital gadgets, although they do plan on bringing the service to computers in the future. Users will be able keep the tracks for as long as they keep their subscription which is added to their phone bills. Omnifone wants to give Apple a run for its money, offering music downloads without the need for a credit card, computer or broadband connection.