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Mobile app store comes to India

Aircel to launch app store in India

Even the emerging market operators are looking for a slice of the app store action. Indian operator Aircel said Tuesday it has tapped up application services firm Infosys to build it an application store catering to Aircel’s almost 30 million mobile subscribers.

Infosys will use its white label app store platform Flypp to power the shop front, which will host mobile applications drawn from an Infosys-managed ecosystem of independent software vendors.

But it’s unlikely that the types of applications in Aircel’s store will be anything like those now common to the iPhone and Android app stores, seeing as all of Aircel’s subscribers are still equipped with 2G GSM handsets and generate a monthly ARPU of $2.36 according to Informa’s WCIS database. Instead we can expect to see mobile money and SMS-based m-payment applications, which are already driving data revenues in the emerging markets.

Gurdeep Singh, COO of Aircel, said the Aircel Application Store “Will offer consumers a broad selection of most relevant applications to choose from in the most convenient manner be it through voice, SMS, GPRS or the internet on your mobile.”

India’s mobile operators are still holding out for an auction of 3G spectrum, which is expected to take place this month, but may well be delayed again.


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