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MySpace offers version of service on Cingular

NEW YORK -- MySpace.com, the social networking site owned by News Corp., began to offer a mobile version of its service to users of Cingular Wireless LLC phones, making its biggest push to expand in the wireless market.

Subscribers to Cingular, the largest U S cellphone company, can use MySpace Mobile to post pictures, add friends, and update blogs for $2.99 a month, Atlanta-based Cingular said yesterday.

MySpace, with about 140 million Web profiles, aims to boost revenue growth by expanding internationally and beyond the Internet . The Los Angeles-based site has in recent months opened units in countries including Japan and Germany. For Cingular, the exclusive agreement will help attract customers who want to communicate with their MySpace friends on the go.

"It's another platform for MySpace, a positive for them," said Joe Bonner, an analyst at Argus Research in New York. He rates News Corp.'s stock "buy."

The partnership is exclusive during the holiday season and "a bit" into next year, said Amit Kapur, MySpace's vice president of business development. He declined to be more precise.

Cingular, owned by AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp., and rivals Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA Inc. are adding music and videos to mobile-phone service to capture more revenue from customers. AT&T in March agreed to buy BellSouth for $67 billion in stock, which will give it full ownership of Cingular.

"The wireless operators are trying to find applications that spur people's use of data," said Bonner, who rates AT&T shares "hold." "They want to find which one will catch fire."

MySpace entered the mobile market this year by offering its service to the subscribers of Helio, a wireless venture between South Korea's SK Telekom Co. and EarthLink Inc.

MySpace plans to sign partnerships with other U S wireless carriers next year, Kapur said. MySpace also plans to offer wireless services overseas, he said.

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