updated 4/27/2006 8:46:50 PM ET 2006-04-28T00:46:50

The Walt Disney Co.'s cell-phone service, scheduled to launch in the United States in June, will be extended to Britain this year, the company said Thursday.

The service, to be called Disney Mobile, will allow parents to control spending, Internet access and text messaging on their children's phones.

Sandra van Vreedendaal, a spokeswoman for the Walt Disney Internet Group, said that the company is also considering launching phone services elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world.

Disney Mobile will be a so-called mobile virtual network operator, meaning it will use the cellular networks of other companies. In the United States, it is partnering with Sprint Nextel Corp.; in Britain, with O2 PLC.

"Increasing numbers of parents are choosing to buy mobile phones for their children as a way of keeping in touch and they are looking for a responsible service offering provided by a trusted brand," said Attila Gazdag, managing director, the Walt Disney Internet Group Europe.

The company said the handsets will have a sober design, with no Walt Disney characters as decoration. Disney ringtones and video clips would be included with the subscription package.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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