In the third content deal in as many days, Vodafone has announced a service that will allow its mobile customers to view and upload videos to YouTube.
The announcement follows others this week from Vodafone with MySpace and eBay. The deals point to a growing interest from online content providers to offer their services to mobile customers as well as continued efforts by operators to drive usage of their wireless data networks.
The mobile YouTube service will launch initially in the UK where customers will be able to view select videos, forward links of videos and upload and search for videos. Vodafone plans to launch the service in other European markets as well.
YouTube has a similar offering in the US where customers of Cingular Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless can all upload videos from their phones.
On Thursday, Vodafone said it will be the first to launch a new mobile service from eBay in Europe outside the UK. Vodafone Italy customers will be the first to be able to download a free application in order to search for and buy items on eBay. The application will come loaded on phones in the future and Vodafone expects to launch the service across its European markets later this year.
eBay has experimented with different mobile offerings. In Germany, it launched a customised version of the Opera Mini browser that lets users buy, sell and track bids. eBay also allows any UK mobile user to bid for and buy items on their phones.
Also this week, Vodafone announced that its customers, starting in the UK, will be able to download an application to their phones that will allow them to edit their MySpace profiles, upload photos and blog entries and send and receive MySpace messages. It's the first mobile offering for MySpace in Europe, Vodafone said.
All three services will be available within Vodafone Live, the operator's mobile portal.