Now showing at a phone near you

The future of digital entertainment has finally turned brighter in this region with the launch of Paramount's content now available to mobile phone users in the Middle East, North and Western Africa (Mena).

In a landmark deal between Paramount Digital Entertainment (a unit of Viacom, Inc), and i2-Group's Cellempower, mobile phone junkies can now view a wide range of current and upcoming films from Paramount's catalogue library. Consumers will also be able to download premium content such as wallpapers, ringtones, ring back tones, themes, screensavers, MMS greeting cards and mobile games, as well as access upcoming movie trailers. However, the buck doesn't stop there. Paramount will also offer new niche content such as video ringtones, clips, client applications and mobile comics over time.

The two companies will also work together in interactive and SMS text message-based promotions for catalogue titles, as well as upcoming Paramount releases.

Pradeep Mittur, Paramount Digital Entertainment's Vice-President for Asia Pacific, says: "We are looking forward to providing this opportunity to the 250 million GSM subscribers in the Mena region."

Dr Amor ben Dhia, Founder and CEO of Cellempower, adds: "We are committed to the success of our partnership with Paramount Pictures and this achievement will unleash all the potential of an integrated vision: content, mobile and data in teaming with the most prestigious players in the value chain. Our aim is to satisfy users by offering high quality, simple tariff schemes and excellent support."

The market for streaming entertainment on the internet or a mobile handset is only set to grow. According to analysts the industry will generate $70 billion (Dh256.9bn) in the United States alone over the next six years. It's time for this region to share a slice of that pie.