To say that 3 is the most aggressive mobile phone network on the market would be an understatement and to prove this point, the Hutchinson-Whampoa firm has announced that it will sell the popular Nokia N95 handset with "Comes wtih Music", a scheme that other operators have vehemently opposed.
"Comes with Music" is a direct hit at newly introduced mobile music services from the major networks and threatens a promising source of revenue for them. Orange already has its own music store while Vodafone has Musicstation but Three does not have a proper music store as it uses Livewiremobile's default music service.
Nokia's music service will offer full, unlimited music downloads as long as you buy Nokia's phone on a regular basis. Mobile Today, who broke the news, says that senior executives from both sides have agreed in principle over a deal.
Carphonewarehouse is selling the only compatible "comes with music" phone, the antiquated 2G 5310 XpressMusic - which will be sold with broadband and laptop - and the N95 would be an excellent stopgap until the new XpressMusic 5800 handset is released. It is unknown whether other phones (notably the N96) will be included in the deal.
Other manufacturers - including SonyEricsson - are also pursuing the idea of having users "subscribing" to their mobile phones to get free music tracks (ed: It turns out to be the same as subscribing to a music service and getting a free phone).