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CTIA: AT&T, Verizon Beef Up Mobile Offerings

Verizon Wireless made two mobile entertainment announcements at CTIA Wireless in San Francisco Tuesday, while AT&T Inc. announced a new deal with Napster Inc. and unveiled the Samsung BlackJack II, a Windows Mobile 6 device.

Verizon Wireless has added mShopper to its Mobile Web 2.0 service, which allows shoppers to compare prices, browse and buy goods from online stores with their cell phones. The catalog on offer includes 9.2 million products, ranging from eLuxury to Shoes.com.

The operator also said it would offer the Minisode Network on V CAST, thanks to a new relationship with Sony Pictures Television. The channel offers four to six minutes of classic television, including “The Facts of Life,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Jeffersons,” “Bewitched, “Fantasy Island” and others.

The push to mobile entertainment has paid off for the carrier, it said, especially in the games category. The carrier said its games revenue has grown by 38 percent year over year as of September, making for 50 million transactions so far in 2007.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer demoed AT&T’s BlackJack II in his keynote Tuesday at CTIA, as it will be one of the first devices to work with Microsoft’s IT management suite, System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, announced Tuesday and expected to be available in the second quarter of next year.

The improved version of the smartphone, available by the end of the year for $150 after rebate and two-year contract, is available in black or wine, and has a iPod-like wheel and a QWERTY keyboard. It’s optimized for AT&T Video Share, Microsoft Direct Push with Outlook Mobile and AT&T Xpress Mail, and comes with a GPS radio, 2-megapixel camera and a speakerphone. It also supports AT&T Mobile Music and TeleNav GPS Navigator.

On Monday, AT&T announced that consumers can download songs over the air from Napster beginning in mid-November. Songs will cost $1.99 each, or for a monthly subscription of $7.49 customers can download five songs each month.

AT&T Inc. www.att.com
Verizon Wireless www.verizonwireless.com


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