Cingular Wireless and the MySpace social-networking website plan to announce today a service that will let Cingular subscribers access MySpace content on their cellphones for $2.99-per-month, as well as send and receive email.
The move shows how borders between the wireless Internet and the regular Internet are beginning to disappear as cellphones become mini entertainment devices, allowing users to take pictures, browse the web, watch video and play music -- in addition to making and receiving calls.
The partnership marks MySpace's first major expansion into wireless. MySpace is the most popular social networking website in the U.S., but usage in the U.S. has flattened in recent months. Until now, MySpace had only a limited presence in the wireless market, through a partnership with start-up carrier Helio. The partnership with Cingular is exclusive for several months, and is likely to roll out partnerships with the other major wireless carriers next year.
Wireless carriers are enthusiastic about social-networking services because members of those sites are more likely to use multimedia services such as picture messaging and Web browsing, generating new revenue to offset declining income from voice calls.
Facebook, the second-largest social-networking site after MySpace, has been available to Cingular, Verizon and Sprint customers since the spring. Verizon Wireless has signed an agreement to put YouTube clips on Verizon's cellphone video service. (info from The Wall Street Journal)