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Cell phone 'Sling'-ing to be new British national pastime

The Slingbox maker hooks up with the 3G mobile broadband firm to offer phones pre-loaded with SlingPlayer Mobile.

Beginning Dec. 1, our friends across the Atlantic will be able to snag a cell phone pre-loaded with Sling Player Mobile.

Three new Slingboxes

The 3G mobile broadband company known as the 3 Group will be offering its new X-series of handsets with the software preinstalled needed to play content from a home television via a Slingbox, the two companies are expected to announce Thursday.

It's Sling Media's first partnership with a major mobile operator.

Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of the 3 Group, also announced that it would be selling the Nokia N73 and Sony Ericsson w950i pre-loaded with SlingPlayer Mobile.

The service will expand to Hong Kong, Australia, Austria and Italy in early 2007.