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Get ready for ads on your mobile phone

Today is the day that your mobile phone could change forever.

With an unveiling at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas, MSNBC.com is launching a wireless news service that is subsidized by advertising. It’s a three-month experiment that the company hopes to make permanent this summer.

Sprint Nextel is ahead of the game, already offering streaming video clips of NBC programming. The monthly fee for this service can be up to US$15 a month. These clips contain the occasional ad, but are for the most part, ad-free. MSNBC hopes to eliminate the monthly fee in favor of having advertisers pay for the service.

Many industry analysts think that the service will catch on in a big way, on the theory that mobile phones are the next frontier for advertising, just as radio, television, and websites have been. It’s probably not a stretch to suggest that the next frontier is upon us already.

The MSNBC service will work at first only on phones running Microsoft software. Other providers are expected to fall in line quickly enough.

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