AT&T Wireless Offers MSN Content

Under a new partnership, AT&T Wireless subscribers will have access Microsoft’s MSN Hotmail and Messenger and Web content as a new premium paid service by year’s end.

The offerings will be available nationwide by year’s end on AT&T’s mMode phones, a spokesman for the nation’s third-largest mobile operator said. Pricing hasn’t been set.

At the same time AT&T is adding MSN content and services, it also announced a partnership to put RealNetworks’ digital media player on mobile phones so customers could grab streams of breaking news, market reports, sports highlights and weather forecasts.

The deal between AT&T and Microsoft is the latest collaboration between the telecom carrier and the software giant. For example, in October the companies launched a suite of business applications to provide workers with access to company e-mail, data and applications behind corporate firewalls.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said this latest pact is non-exclusive. The Redmond, Wash., software company, which sees mobile phones and personal digital assistants as important markets for expanding its reach and revenues, has a similar deal with Verizon Wireless.

Deals with other carriers are also expected in the near future.

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