In an effort to boost sales of Windows-based smartphones in India, Microsoft has tied up with Idea Cellular for an arrangement whereby the latter will introduce ‘operator billing’ services for its subscribers who use smartphones running on the Windows operating system.
With this option, subscribers will no longer need a credit card or other electronic payment methods to purchase paid content off the Windows store, which features applications developed for Windows smartphones. The cost of an app that a user wishes to download will be directly added to the Idea Cellular subscriber’s postpaid bill or deducted from his prepaid balance. Neither Microsoft nor Idea Cellular divulged how the two companies would share revenues arising out of apps downloaded using operator billing services.
This is the first time that smartphone users in India will be able to downloand paid apps without having to pay for it electronically. Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store require the user to pay electronically before downloading paid content.
To begin with, the maximum amount than an Idea Cellular subscriber can spend for purchasing a single app has been capped at R300. “We have set the maximum threshold right now at R300 keeping in mind the safety of the consumer as well as to ensure that most apps are covered in that price range,” Sashi Shankar, Idea Cellular’s chief marketing officer said.
“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,” Microsoft said in a blog post, detailing its tie-ups with telecom firms in other emerging markets for operator billing services.