VimpelCom intros carrier billing for Google apps

Mobile Internet industry sees money being thrown about

Russia’s second largest mobile operator, VimpelCom, has implemented a carrier billing model with Google, allowing users to purchase app store content via their mobile phone bill.

VimpelCom customers will be able to purchase Google Play content by having the funds deducted from prepaid credit or just added to their monthly bill.

A dedicated VimpelCom Channel within Google Play will also make it easy for VimpelCom customers to navigate their way among the 600,000 apps available in the Google Play store.

Mikhail Gerchuk, VimpelCom’s Group chief commercial officer, said: “the collaboration with Google will provide our customers around the world with a convenient way to access and pay for millions of apps, games and songs, significantly enhancing the smartphone experience in countries where banking and credit card services are not widely used.”

Recently, spoke with Andrei Ushatskiy, vice president and chief technology officer for leading Russian carrier MTS, after the carrier embarked on a revenue share deal with Google for Android apps sold in Russia.

Within the framework of the agreement, MTS installs Android Market as the primary interface on all of the MTS-branded Android smartphones it sells. Google has set up a special MTS-branded section in the Android Market to promote MTS-branded applications as well as those developed by MTS partners.

Under the revenue-sharing agreement, MTS will get 25 per cent of the revenues from each paid mobile application bought from MTS-branded mobile devices.

The two companies are also working on making payment for applications directly from the MTS mobile account available for MTS subscribers.

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