MySpace reaches deal with Vodafone in UK

Vodafone UK customers who use MySpace will soon be able to update their online profiles from their mobile phones

Vodafone Group is counting on the MySpace.com social networking site to drive its UK customers to use their mobile phones for more than just talking. The two companies have struck a deal to distribute software for updating a MySpace user profile from a mobile phone, the companies has announced.

The agreement is the first MySpace, which is owned by News Corp., has reached with a European carrier, says a MySpace spokesman. It calls for Vodafone to ship an application on new mobile phones it sells that will allow MySpace users to email, blog, manage their community of friends and post comments to other users' profiles.

The application, which will also be available for download, will be launched before the end of the year for UK users, the companies say. Pricing for use of the application has not been set, says a Vodafone spokesman.

The agreement could help Vodafone nudge slow overall revenue growth in Europe, by drawing on the MySpace's popularity to boost use of mobile data services.

Vodafone saw growth in mobile data services revenue accelerate in the fourth quarter, but the total still lagged far behind revenue from voice services.

MySpace counted 90 million unique visitors worldwide in December, says the spokesman. Vodafone has about 16.9 million customers in the UK.

MySpace launched a similar deal in the US in December with Cingular Wireless. Cingular subscribers can download a Java application that lets them manipulate MySpace for US$2.99 per month plus standard use charges.

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