On the eve of the upcoming CTIA in San Francisco, Verizon Wireless yesterday jumped the gun and released information about several new mobile services. Here is a brief description of some of the new things “The Network” has in store for us:
- Social Life. A social network aggregator that allows you to access several social networking sites, such as My Space, LiveJournal,and Photobucket, from a single interface. Noticeably missing from the list of supported sites is Facebook and Flickr. You can view messages, post comments and even set your profile picture to an image taken with your phone. The service is $1.49 monthly and will be available on Get It Now phones.
- Ringback Buddies. Targeting the teen crowd, Verizon will launch, Ringback Buddies, a Facebook application that lets you view and share the music that you your friends enjoy and purchase that music directly. Once purchased, you can assign the music to a friend so that person can hear their favorite music when they call. Ringback tones incur an annual $1.99 fee and the Ringback tone service costs $0.99/month.
- CityID. Got an LG Voyager, then you will be able to see the originating city and state of an incoming phone call. The service will only support 20,000 cities at launch. The service will cost $1.99 monthly. We ponder this service and ask why would we want this?
- NY Times through the VZW Portal. Now targeting the business users, Verizon will deliver NY Times content that will include blogs, news, movie show times, and stock quotes directly to Mobile Web enabled handsets. This service will be offered as part of the Mobile Web data package; either $15/month for Unlimited access or $1.99/MB for pay as you go data usage.
- Mobile VCast. Targeting the new handsets with full HTML browsers, Verizon has launched a mobile version of their VCast service. You can share the videos through a social network like Twitter, email a link off to friends, create a playlist, and save videos to a favorites list. Once again, Mobile Vcast in included as part of a Unlimited data package. Designed mainly for the LG Dare and LG Voyager, Blackberry and Windows Mobile users can also access Verizon VCast videos from your mobile browser. This Mobile Vcast service is live now so you can point your browser to m.vcast.com to check it out.
That’s all for now, folks! Stay tuned for more announcements as CTIA begins.