Sprint and Microsoft launch carrier billing for Windows 10 users

Sprint (NYSE: S) is now supporting carrier billing on Windows 10 in the Windows Store, enabling subscribers to purchase content on any device from Microsoft's store without a credit card. Sprint is the first carrier worldwide to extend carrier billing for Windows Store.

Rather than requiring a credit card, the Windows Store account of a Sprint user will store the device's phone number to an account. Once that number is stored, Sprint users can purchase content from the Windows Store on any Windows 10 device including tablets and laptops and will have charges appear on their monthly bill.

Microsoft is in the process of rolling out Windows 10 to smartphones and tablets. The operating system is an upgrade from the company's existing Windows Phone platform, and is an attempt by the company to counter the rise of Android and iOS with a platform that runs across smartphones, laptops and desktops.

The service is provided by Boku, a San Francisco-based company that provides carrier billing technology to more than 260 worldwide.

Once strictly a mechanism for purchasing mobile content, carrier billing has recently expanded to include content for a wide range of digital products and services. Apple recently launched carrier billing for iTunes in Germany and Russia, enabling mobile users of certain subscribers in those markets to purchase iTunes content and have the charges appear on their monthly bill. Facebook uses carrier billing in 60 countries for sales through its mobile app.

Boku reportedly supports Apple's carrier billing services, although the company hasn't confirmed that. Boku also claims to be the only carrier billing provider to offer support for point-of-sale transactions such as ticketing and purchases in coffee shops.

The recent increase in carrier billing activity is due largely to the fact that many operators have lowered their rates to vendors dramatically to support the carrier billing transactions. Analysts expect carrier billing revenues to grow substantially over the next several years as those rates continue to fall.

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