In a first of its kind service, small U.S. wireless operator Cricket Communications has launched an all-you-can-eat wireless music, phone, text, web and ringtone package for $55 a month.
Cricket has partnered with flash storage vendor SanDisk and Samsung Mobile to offer the new service.
The service will be available for consumers in January 2011 and debut officially at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
At first glance, Cricket’s new offering looks like an excellent deal.
Hell, we pay $70 a month to AT&T for just 400 minutes of talk time and unlimited 3G web with the iPhone 4. Cricket’s new service offers so much more.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how the music service works.
At launch, Muve Music will be available on the Samsung Suede (SCH-r710) mobile phone that ‘ll feature a dedicated music button on the front of the device to take customers to Muve Music with one touch. Suede is a 3G multi-media device with a 3-inch touchscreen display, HTML web browser and a virtual QWERTY keyboard.
Large Music Collection
Cricket executives are promising the music portion of the service, which it’s calling Muve Music, will come with a robust catalog of music content from the four major record labels: Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music.
Muve Music content is downloaded DRM-free over the air to the phone, where it’s stored and protected on a special flash memory card.
The music cannot be transferred to a PC and the music will stop if the service is discontinued.
It’s not clear if Muve Music will include Bollywood songs as well. Apple’s iTunes store has a rich collection of Indian film music in several languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada but they cost 99-cents for each track and can be downloaded to the iPhone and transferred to the PC as well.
Muve Music Rate Plan
For $55 per month, Muve Music customers will get the following features on its 3G network:
* Unlimited nationwide calling
* Unlimited nationwide text, picture & video messaging
* Unlimited global text messaging
* Unlimited 3G mobile Web
* Unlimited email
* Unlimited data back up
* Unlimited video
Plus for the first time in the U.S.
* Unlimited full track downloads
* Unlimited ringtones
* Unlimited ringback tones
No, we’re not planning to switch to Cricket. We’re happy with our iPhone 4 and will stick with it. At least, for now.