EMI bids for phone license

NTL, One.Tel show interest

LONDON — EMI is part of a consortium bidding for the U.K.’s next generation of mobile phone licenses that would allow the music major to provide content for mobile phones able to access the Internet.

EMI’s consortium is led by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. What has surprised observers, however, is the absence of bids from ITV network companies Granada and Carlton, given the increasing convergence of entertainment and new media.

Through its NTL Mobile subsid, U.K. cable company NTL is part of another consortium that is bidding. The cabler began life as a mobile company in the U.S.

The licenses have attracted interest from companies from all over the world, including One.Tel Global Wireless, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire.

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