Omnifone takes on handset giants

Omnifone takes on handset giants

MusicStation Max handset offers unlimited music downloads

UK firm Omnifone is going up against Nokia with a new handset that offers unlimited music downloads for a monthly fee.

The MusicStation Max has been produced by LG and will offer 12 to 18 months of unlimited downloads from over 1.5 million tracks.

Universal Music has already signed up to the programme and negotiations are underway with other music labels.

Rob Wells, senior vice president of digital at Universal Music Group, said: "MusicStation Max represents the next generation in music mobiles where unlimited music comes out of the box with the handset."

The move is an attempt to head off Nokia's planned Comes With Music initiative which will offer a similar deal on music downloads for 12 months.

"We have been getting calls from other phone companies which are very concerned about the Nokia move," said Rob Lewis, chief executive of Omnifone.

"We have proved ourselves in our partnership with Vodafone, which has been phenomenally successful, so this was the logical next step."

The package differs from Omnifone's old offers because consumers pay for the data they use to download. While this will be popular with network operators, it remains to be seen whether consumers will bite.