"We are working to bring to the marketplace a full music on mobile phone service," spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said. "We believe we're probably a half-year or so out from offering that service."
Nelson wouldn't provide specific details about the service, even though speculation has been rampant on consumer Web sites and blogs that such a service would be either overpriced or wouldn't allow users to synchronize music stored on PCs.
"We hear from our customers often and with great vehemence about what they'd like," Nelson said. "That's obviously a huge driver in determining how we will develop the service. But a second thing is digital rights and making sure that those who bring content to us are getting page. Sometimes those two drivers compete with each other."
Nelson said that the company may well offer a phone soon that will play back digital music and that eventually would work with the service.
"It would be the kind of thing where, if you like the device and expect to want a mobile music service, you might get the device so it could be enabled once the service is launched," Nelson said.
The service was hinted at earlier this week at a conference by Verizon Wireless CEO Denny Strigl. There has been a lot of activity of late in terms music offered by wireless operators. Cingular was reported in the last week to be considering offering a phone from Motorola that works with Apple's iTunes service and several studies have indicated that mobile music stands to become a widely-used application.