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Sprint launches streaming multimedia phone service

Sprint has introduced a new 15-frame-per-second streaming video service that will run on a Samsung mobile phone that Sprint began selling earlier this week.

The Sprint PCS Vision Multimedia Services, which includes audio as well as the video channels, plays video clips faster than the one frame per second offered by the Idetic MobiTV service that the wireless carrier has been offering since last year, Sprint spokeswoman Leslie Letts said.

PCS Vision Multimedia Services is a pure streaming service, whereas MobiTV required the customer to download the video to the phone before playing it.

The new service runs on Sprint's CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) 1x data network, available throughout the mobile operator's national network. It will offer more than 600 new video and audio clips each day.

Basic offerings include Athens on Location, showing Olympics highlights until 29 August, and Sprint TV, a compilation of content from the NBC TV network, Fox Broadcasting's Fox Sports, The Weather Channel Interactive and other providers.

The basic service also includes a channel for movie previews and one with previews of all channels available on the Sprint service. That package costs $9.99 (£5.40) per month on top of a customer's Sprint PCS Vision mobile data subscription.

Premium channels also are available, including ones from Cable News Network LP Fox Sports, The Weather Channel, V-Star's 1KTV, E! Entertainment Television and mFlix for $4.95 each per month, as well as an AccuWeather channel for $3.95 per month.

Sprint will still offer MobiTV for use on the new Samsung and other phones, Letts said.

The pure streaming service is made possible by a Qualcomm media player in the Samsung MM-A700 handset, Letts said. The 119g clamshell handset also includes a megapixel camera and digital camcorder, according to Sprint.

The MM-A700 costs $399.99, or $249.99 after rebate with a two-year agreement.

Stephen Lawson writes for IDG News Service


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