CTIA kicks off in Vegas

Fandango pact will allow Ericsson subs to order pix

Entertainment news dominated CTIA as the country’s big wireless confab opened in Las Vegas.

Ticket service Fandango is set to announce a pact Thursday that will allow Ericsson mobile subscribers to order movies from the service through their cell phones.

Program will use co-called shortcodes, which allows customers to key in a code from a poster and automatically order tickets. Service will be customized by zip code and also make available reviews and other info.

News follows launch of Forty Three Kix, a mobile-specific showtime service announced earlier this week that will be available on most carriers.

Elsewhere at the conference, mobile TV was a big topic. Wireless company Modeo made a splash with a phone that it says will allow for customers to view live television digital channels.

So far most television programming has involved pre-packaged clips from the nets. Company expects phone to be available later this year, though what television provider would offer the service remains unclear. And while some companies like MobiTV, offer live television to mobile phones via an Internet connection, Modeo is the first U.S. firm to offer digital channels on a phone.

Meanwhile, Disney, which had previously announced its MVNO–a mobile service from a non-telco that leases spectrum from a carrier–made headlines with more details of its family-friendly phone package. The service, which will use Sprint’s spectrum, allows for parents to monitor their children, for children to more easily message other children, and, of course, for everyone to be marketed Disney products.

Company is following up on a current experiment with ESPN, which, also leases spectrum and offers a raft of scores and personalized sports content, in a bid for a TV powerhouse to transfer its cachet to mobile.

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