This entry albeit unintentionally picks up on the sub-continent theme of from yesterday. Idea Cellular and Microsoft have joined forces to offer operator billing for windows phone subscribers. The joint scheme offers subscribers on Lumia devices as well as other Windows based mobile devices to download premium apps and games from the Windows store and pay for them through their regular operator billing account. The partnership makes it much easier for subscribers to make that sometimes elusive buying-decision.
CMO Sashi Shankar. “We are happy to be the first operator to partner with Microsoft for Windows Store and offer our consumers the ease to download a range of local and global applications without worrying about the mode of payment,” he said.
While this may seem somewhat trivial to folks in countries with more developed infrastructure, but the proliferation of credit cards in emerging markets is somewhat limited.
Microsoft had put up details about operator billing in emerging markets on its official blog. According to the company, “Many of us don’t think twice about making an online purchase with a credit card these days, but that isn’t true everywhere in the world. The World Bank estimates that 93% of people in emerging markets don’t have a credit which means the majority of those people cannot purchase apps from most global app stores…. We set out to meet the growing demand for apps in emerging markets by working with operators around the world to help their customers make purchases with their mobile phone account.”
According to a company release, the Windows Store currently offers over 550,000 apps and enjoys a 66% YoY growth in the number of titles available with 8 billion cumulative downloads to date. “We have seen that operator billing helps developers increase revenues and we have witnessed an increase of 8x per month for total paid transactions in emerging markets and 3x in developed markets,” Nikhil Mathur, director (B2B & Operator Channels), Nokia India sales a subsidiary of Microsoft Mobile, said in the statement.
While this seems like a good Idea for both parties involved, it is not an original one. According to a Microsoft spokesman the company has been rather busy on the operator billing front. They have signed similar deals with 81 operators in 46 markets. It would be interesting to know if these sort of deals include operator billing for Windows Office 365 which seems to be dominating the cloud office space.
More Here… [IndiaTechWare]