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Partnering with NTT DoCoMo

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Sony is to begin distributing music to mobile phones thanks to a new partnership with Japan's largest cellphone network company, NTT DoCoMo.

Sony will invest in AirMedia, the JV formed last February by DoCoMo and consumer electronics company Matsushita. Sony and Matsushita will develop phones that can download and playback music tracks via the airwaves. Other devices will allow music to be downloaded via cellular networks to users' home audio equipment. Sony will also provide content.

AirMedia's music service is still in development, with its launch scheduled for the tail-end of this year, according to Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, when DoCoMo rolls out its PHS personal phone network.

AirMedia itself will then be relaunched as a new opertation, presumably one better able to merket itself and its media services to consumers. Some 20-odd more music and media companies will also invest in the company. ®

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