Telenor and Google launched a new Android Market initiative Wednesday that promises to provide Telenor’s Android smartphone user base with faster access to relevant localized apps and direct operator billing.
Under the agreement, Telenor customers who access Android Marketplace will find a Telenor-branded “shelf” on the front page. Behind the tile will be up to 50 apps with “high local relevance” selected by an editorial team in each of Telenor’s eleven international mobile markets.
“We’re partnering with Google to build a better relationship with our customer base and build a richer experience for the customer by making it easier for them to find more relevant local content in a secure environment with flexible payment options,” Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor president and chief, said in a keynote at the Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong.
While the agreement covers all of Telenor's markets, the service will initially only be available in Thailand, Malaysia, Hungary, Sweden and Denmark in 1Q12. Customers in Telenor's remaining global markets – India, Bangladesh, Serbia, Montenegro and Norway – will have access to the service later in the year.
Customers will be able to pay for apps via prepaid or postpaid subscriptions, and no upgrade is required to access the Telenor shelf.