NTT DoCoMo and Microsoft are teaming up to provide music services for mobile telephones in Japan, the companies said Thursday.

Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media Audio technology will enable NTT DoCoMo mobile phones to play music downloaded to personal computers from more than 100 online music services, they said in a statement.

NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest mobile carrier, will begin the music service with one of their higher end models to go on sale this summer, it said.

The use of mobile phones to download and listen to music is growing in popularity in Japan. Competition is growing among mobile companies to offer such services.

DoCoMo is playing catch up with rival KDDI Corp., which has drawn users through its music download feature.

Competition in the mobile phone business is expected to intensify when number portability, or the ability to keep the same phone number while switching carriers, arrives in Japan later this year.

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