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Mobile operator bringing Slingbox to your phone

Sling Media is partnering with its first mobile operator to give U.K. customers access to home TV channels on mobile handsets.

Sling Media announced Thursday its first deal with a mobile phone carrier to offer subscribers access to home television on their mobile handsets using the Slingbox device.

The British wireless carrier 3 Group will pre-install Sling's technology on its "X-series" devices, which includes the Nokia N73 and the Sony Ericsson W950i.

is software that allows users to watch their regular television lineup on their mobile handsets via their Slingbox device, which is connected to their TV set. The Slingbox is an increasingly popular set-top box that redirects cable and satellite feeds from a person's home to his or her laptop. The company first introduced the software, which initially worked on Windows Mobile smart phones, earlier this year.

This is the first agreement Sling Media has struck directly with a mobile operator. The SlingPlayer Mobile service will be exclusive to 3 Group customers who purchase both an X-Series handset and a Slingbox.

The service will be available to U.K. customers in December. The companies plan to expand the deal to the mobile carrier's other markets in early 2007.

The announcement comes as 3 Group signs up a slew of other partners for its mobile service. The mobile operator will also work with Skype, Orb, Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo to offer services, including instant messaging and mobile Web browsing, on a flat-fee basis.