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Panasonic, BT to work on wireless music service
HANOVER, GERMANY (IDG) -- Matsushita Electric Industrial and Matsushita Communications Industrial, which are better known by their Panasonic brand name, and British Telecommunications (BT) this week announced plans to work together to deliver digital music via wireless services.
"I am pleased to announce an agreement with BT to develop mobile music distribution services for customers around the world," said Seinosuke Kuraku, Managing Director of Matsushita Electric Europe (Headquarters), speaking here at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover.
"One of the first services will enable customers to request music of their choice and download it to their music systems," added Kuraku, who also said trials of the service will begin in the U.K. in the third quarter of this year.
Matsushita will produce a recorder/player unit for the service that stores the downloaded music on SD (Secure Digital) format memory cards. The SD format was developed and is being promoted jointly by Matsushita, Toshiba and SanDisk.
Matsushita has been developing such a system with NTT Mobile Communications Network (NTT DoCoMo), Japan's largest mobile telephone operator, since late last year and in January the two announced plans to form a joint venture to launch a commercial service from April.
While the Japanese system will begin in April, it is not expected to really begin attracting significant numbers of subscribers until NTT DoCoMo launches its third generation WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) wireless network in the second quarter of 2001. Unlike current networks, where data transmission is limited to 64Kbps, the new network will support speeds as high as 384Kbps making downloading music files much faster.
Similarly, today's announcement with BT doesn't focus on current technologies but on GPRS (general packet radio system), a system designed to enhance current networks and boost their data transmission speeds up to 115Kbps, and the third generation UMTS (univeral mobile telecommunications system) technology.
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