RealNetworks to stream music to mobiles

RealNetworks has won access to 180 million subscribers by signing up five networks, including Britain's Vodafone. RealNetworks said on Tuesday that it had signed up five telecom companies for its mobile media software, gaining access to 180 million subscribers in its battle with arch-rival Microsoft to stream music and video to handsets. Spain's Telefonica Moviles, Italy's Wind and TIM, Britain's 02 and Sweden's TeliaSonera have chosen RealNetworks software to send video and music to mobile phones. Real earlier signed agreements with US-based carriers AT&T Wireless and Sprint.

In the David-and-Goliath battle between the two Seattle-area software companies, RealNetworks' Player for desktop computers has been overtaken by Microsoft's Windows Media Player, which comes pre-installed with its Windows operating system. The European Union is expected to rule that Microsoft abused its power. But the mobile telecoms industry, unlike the computer industry, is not dominated by one software vendor such as Microsoft, and Real has managed to win lots of customers.

"This is positioning Real as one of the, if not the, leading media delivery systems in the mobile telecoms industry,'' said market analyst Dean Bubley at Britain's Disruptive Analysis.

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News source: ZDNet

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