When AT&T (then Cingular Wireless) introduced its music service late last year we admired the carrier's model. Rather than creating its own music store, as Sprint and Verizon Wireless did, Cingular partnered with online music subscriptions services like Napster Mobile. To us, it seemed like a clean and a simple arrangement, even if you couldn't use Napster to download songs over the air.
But AT&T kicked off the CTIA fall 2007 today when it announced that wireless downloads from Napster will be available next month. For $7.49 for five songs per month or for $1.99 each, subscribers will be able to browse and purchase songs directly from the cell phone. Subscribers will then get two copies of the track; one will download to their handset and the others will download to their PC. Yes, you'll need a 3G AT&T phone with support for AT&T Music to use the service and no, the iPhone will not be compatible. The specific models that will support the new service will be announced next month.
Though AT&T is a little late to the wireless music game, and it price per song is more expensive than both Sprint or AT&T, the carrier finally has brought its mobile music network into the 21st century. We'll be eager to see how they fare.