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 Telenor tile will be up to 50 apps with “high local relevance” selected by an editorial team in each of Telenor’s 11 international mobile markets.
Customers will be able to pay for apps via their mobile operator via prepaid or postpaid subscriptions. No upgrade is required to access the Telenor shelf.
“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,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president and CEO of Telenor Group, during a keynote at Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong.
The agreement covers all of Telenor's markets, but will only be available initially in Thailand, Malaysia, Hungary, Sweden and Denmark in the first quarter 2012. Customers in Telenor's remaining global markets – India, Bangladesh, Serbia, Montenegro and Norway – will have access to the service later in the year.