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Radio Through Your Cell Phone

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Radio….through your cell phone. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Here we go again… another new way to use a mobile phone. In addition to text messaging, picture taking and MP3 music players now in some phones…Sprint is selling handsets that let customers subscribe to a streaming radio service from a company called Mspot. Co-founder and CEO Daren Tsui…

"Think of it sort of as satellite radio if you will, but available on mobile handsets. And what I mean by that is basically it's got talk channels, such as news, sports, weather. It's got different music channels. So in that respect, it's a lot like satellite and it's also a subscription based service."

Priced at 5.95 a month. Right now, it works only with two multimedia cell phones made by Sanyo. And while the sound is okay on the built in speaker on the phone, the experience is better with earphones. There are two problems facing Mspot and other, similar services. First, while you're listening, you can't make or receive phone calls. And second…listening will drain your battery. The CEO tried it on his commute…

"And my drive lasted, door to door, about an hour and a half. And by the time I got home and turned off the service, I still had one power bar left on my phone."

Battery life remains a problem in need of a solution. Mspot has plans for premium movie and video services as well. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.