Napster will launch its first mobile download service for Europe in Ireland later this month on Telefónica SA's O2 Ireland network.

Customers will have access to Napster Mobile's catalogue of 3 million songs, ringtones and artist images. Ericsson, which is hosting and managing the service for O2, will provide other content.

The service will be available initially to O2 Ireland customers with handsets using NTT DoCoMo's I-mode mobile internet service. By January, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and Java-enabled handsets will also be able to use the service.

By February, songs purchased on Napster Mobile will be sent to users’ PCs as well as their handsets, the companies said. Napster does not currently have a PC download service in Ireland.

The Napster Mobile application will be shipped with some I-mode handsets by O2. The application includes features such as a recommendation engine, which can pick other songs that a user may like based on their past picks, plus abilities to search, browse and preview content.

Last month, Napster agreed with TMN Portugal to launch Napster Mobile for its 5 million subscribers, but no timetable was given for the start of the service. Other European countries are expected to follow.