RealTime IT News

RealOne Hops on mMode Cellphones

Expanding its footprint into the U.S. mobile streaming market, RealNetworks Thursday announced a deal with AT&T Wireless to hawk on-demand streaming content to AT&T's mMode wireless subscribers.

The AT&T pact puts RealNetworks' flagship RealOne service at the fingertips of another big-name U.S. carrier, coming on the heels of a similar partnership with Sprint PCS.

While the consumption of multimedia content on cellphones has taken off in Europe and Japan, the market has remained stagnant in the U.S. because mobile phones do not have the capacity to power the distribution of digital video files.

The Seattle-based digital media firm already streams live baseball broadcasts to cellphones nationwide but the market remains tricky because of bandwidth issues.

Still RealNetworks is pushing ahead with plans to shuttle content to cellphones in the U.S. and the AT&T mMode deal helps legitimize the company's business. RealNetworks said mMode subscribers would get access to streams of breaking news, market reports, sports highlights and weather forecasts -- for a small additional price.

The $4.95 per month service would only be available on mMode enabled cellphones via the RealOne Player for mobile devices.

The mMode service is AT&T's data delivery service which offers e-mail, Internet-based content and games on cellphones.