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
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
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.

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