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Orange, Sony Ericsson, pop singer Christina Aguilera in 3-way pact

LONDON: France Telecom-owned mobile phone operator Orange has entered into an agreement with Sony Ericsson to launch the latter’s new Walkman phones across Europe. The arrangement includes a nine-month sponsorship deal with pop diva Christina Aguilera.

Orange is wanting to introduce add-on services like music and video downloads through its mobile phone service as alternative sources of income. The agreement will cover the entire operational area of Orange in Europe, which includes Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands.

Sony Ericsson Walkman W810i and W300i models will be customised to work with Orange’s Signature framework, which enables users to have the service irrespective of the handset maker.

Aguilera, Grammy award winning artist with Sony BMG, will feature in marketing campaigns for the proposed services under the sponsorship arrangement. This will cover her upcoming single, album and European tour. Customers to Orange’s services will be given access to exclusive re-mixes, ringtones and videos.

Mobile operator 3 had recently contracted pop singer Madonna for a similar deal.

Orange had 71 million customers in 17 countries at the end of 2005.

Orange said it will facilitate its subscribers to transfer music files downloaded from its Orange World music stores to PCs after it enables this facility in coordination with its sister company, internet service provider Wanadoo.

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