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Alcatel readies video for 3G phones

The French telecommunications company is working with SK Telecom and a unit of Universal Music to develop mobile video and other services.

Alcatel on Tuesday announced a partnership with multimedia content company Universal Mobile to develop and market new multimedia services targeted at mobile phone companies that offer third-generation services.

Among the offerings will be Alcatel's 3G Video Mail Box, which the companies said would deliver music and video over both 3G wireless and broadband wireline networks. The two companies also plan to work on services such as a video delivery portal. Universal Mobile is a unit of major record label Universal Music.

Third-generation mobile services have been talked about for some time but have had trouble reaching take-off speed. Now, however, some 3G services are available in Japan, Korea and several European countries, and U.S. carriers say they'll catch up during the next two years.

Video services, in particular, have needed the capacity offered by the technology, which operates 50 times faster than present-day cell phone networks.

In other news Tuesday, Alcatel and SK Telecom of Korea unveiled a photo-music-video service designed to let people produce and send personalized video content to mobile phones or e-mail addresses. The service was tested jointly by the two companies both in Korea and in France, where telecommunications services company Alcatel is based. SK Telecom plans a commercial launch in April.