Exclusive: Telenor Soon to Launch its App Store with Direct Operator Billing


Telenor Pakistan is reading itself for post-3G times with the launch of its own app and game store for its around 35 million customers in Pakistan.

Smartphone ownership in Pakistan is estimated to grow – mainly due to emergence of 3G service — by 50% this year and is currently around 15%. With increasing number of smartphone users having internet connectivity through 3G, there is clear need for local app store with sufficient support local developers.

The main highlight of the Telenor’s app-store will be ability for users to buy apps or to make in-app purchases through their prepaid or postpaid account credit.

For the purpose, Telenor has deployed a solution from Fortumo, a mobile payment company, to have direct carrier billing available on its network.

With meagre number of credit cards in Pakistan, direct operator billing is what smartphone users look for as they will be able to make app purchases or even in-app purchases from their phone bills.

It merits mentioning here that there are less than 1.5 million people in Pakistan with credit cards while there over 130 million mobile phone users in the country.

Once deployed and announced publicly, Telenor’s app store will work exactly like Play Store. Customers will be able to browse apps, games and other utilities to install them through a single click.

Telenor_App_Store_002 Telenor_App_Store_001

Not only that customers will be allowed to install paid-apps – for which they will have to pay from their mobile balance – but in-app purchases will also be possible with Telenor’s play store.

Telenor_App_Store_004 Telenor_App_Store_005

Local developers who want to get their apps enrolled on Telenor’s app store can point their browsers to this URL to know the process. They can even integrate in-app payments by simply following few steps.

It is hoped that local apps, from local developers with local meanings will see a boost. Just imagine the number of heads we have in this country and this is why the potential in Pakistani market for any business model is simply humongous.

We just hope that Telenor will do this app store the right way.

Tech and telecom reporter for over 15 years

  • I remember that stupid banana store by Mobilink. Why do telecom companies even bother with this crap? Who is going to buy stuff from this unknown store with no guarantee it will still be around in the next 12 months?

    • this is not a crap. You are an oldii who doesn’t know what are they and how to use them. This is for those who really need this like ME :D

  • Carrier billing for Google Play store would have been better. Practically no one will publish to this store and use their purchase API.

      • It is for the same reason people in Pakistan want paypal. There are other services (moneybookers, local ones like Omni or easypaisa) but ultimately you want to use the service that sellers use, and sellers of products and services use Paypal.

        Same here, all the apps are already on Google Play. You think developers will go through the trouble of repackaging their apps/games with Fortuna API for Telenor store which has fewer than 10 million smartphones? Why bother? Not worth the hassle.

    • Agreed… but one thing shuld be considered… telcos have very costly air time after tax… how it would be managed…

  • This is cool, Telenor has again showed that they are far ahead when it comes to innovation in this market

  • The same should be for play store.. reminded me ptcl portal.. we have every thing u need.. lol.. what to do with existing. I do like shahid saleem idea.

  • Hmm,, interesting feature by telenor. However where’s the Authentication part?

    This means we assume that the person purchasing the app is actually the one doing the purchase and no further Authentication via some PIN is relevant.

  • lol atleast its something :P maybe ufone will introduce in-app Purchases for play Store & iTunes.

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