Sprint Wireless Puts Bling In Ringtones

Sprint PCS, one of the nation’s largest cell phone companies,

introduced BlingTones this past Tuesday (Sept. 21), which allows subscribers to

personalize their ring tones with original compositions by the likes of hip-hop

producers such as Rockwilder and Hi-Tek.

The wireless provider has partnered with Lagadere Active North America in hopes

of increasing its share of the lucrative ring tone market. Consumers are expected

to spend upwards of $150 million on ring tones in 2004, according to In-Stat/MDR,

a leading communications research company.

“Customers are getting unparalleled CD-like sound quality from their

phone," Jeff Hallock, a Sprint marketing executive, said in a statement.

"The possibilities are practically endless for what Sprint customers can

now do to personalize their phone.”

Jay Dee, DJ Twinz, and Souldiggaz are also expected to produce ring tones for

Sprint, which is billing BlingTone as the first mobile record label. The content

will be entirely original and solely available for the use of cell phones. Upon

launch, approximately 50 BlingTones will be offered to users ranging from hip-hop

to slow jams to reggae riddims.

In addition, Sprint announced the upcoming release of BlingPix, screen savers

with contemporary urban themes.

BlingTones and BlingPix will be accessible to Sprint cell phones users via

their phone or at the Sprint PCS Web site starting at $2.00 and $1.50, respectively.