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A new service from BigPond allows Telstra customers to change the standard “brrrring brrrring” sound that a caller usually hear when they ring a mobile phone, with an audio clip of the customer’s choice.

This means that instead of hearing that ringing sound when a caller phones you, the caller can hear the latest hit from the radio or jokes, quotes or celebrity voices. Telstra says you can choose from “hundreds” of music tracks from Universal Music and Sony BMG, as well as songs from Australian Idol or other Telstra sponsored properties such as V8 Supercars or AFL footy anthems.

“It means customers aren’t just limited to ringtones and wallpapers to personalise their mobiles – now callers can get an idea of the personality of the person on the other end of the phone without hearing them speak, said BigPond Group Managing Director, Justin Milne.

“Customers can even choose different tracks to play at different times and on different days or play special tracks for special callers. So for example you can play your footy song after a win, or perhaps a Mariah Carey ballad for your special someone,” he said.

This is a neat little idea that I first noticed in full swing in Mumbai, India early this year – there wasn’t a brrrring brrrring in sight (or earshot). Although 3 has already got the idea rolling in Australia, Telstra BigPond’s service will probably bring it more into the mainstream (given its seven million customer base). The question is – will it catch on the way personalized ring tones have? Well, if the citizens of Mumbai are any guide, then yes, say get ready to say goodbye to brrring brrring!

Cost: $1.95 each month plus a one-off purchase price of $3.50 for each track selected. Available to Telstra GSM and 3G mobile customers.

See: www.bigpond.com/callertones

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