Carrier billing and Windows Phone; glaring omission

| February 23, 2012 | 17 Replies

Coming from Symbian and wanting to try a hand at Windows Phone? There are a few things to keep in mind before making the switch. The obvious one being the much talked about lack of features or walled garden approach of Windows Phone vs. Symbian, however there is a far bigger thing to keep in mind besides that; Carrier Billing.

Ofcourse, features are what a most of our readers focus on and rightly so. After all, why would you be here if you weren’t intrigued by technology and specifications. That is what makes or breaks a decision to go for a certain phone. But what about the, well, normal people. The ones that use a smartphone more like a phone? Just use it for some browsing, email and the all important apps. They probably are the ones that aren’t drawn as much by sheer specifications but more by looks, practicality and above all price.

Now, you might start wondering what all the above has to do with carrier billing. Simple, what is the thing that practically all users, powerusers and normobs alike use? Apps, apps, apps! (enter Ballmer reference here) Nokia, apart from the somewhat akward store and lack of high level apps, is the one that got the buying experience right. Just download that funky app and payment is automatically done via your phone bill at no extra charge (on top of the app price that is)

Others stores such as Apple’s app store and Micrsofts Marketplace have a different approach; credit cards. (although Apple seem to have some kind of Paypal credit construction, not sure though) Eventhough the US has a high density of credit cards and thus the capability to use appstores in that way, that doesn’t ring true for a large chunk of Europe and let alone Asia. Credit card usage isn’t as widely spread there.

What does this mean? Simple, people without creditcards aren’t likely going to rush out and get one just to buy a few apps in the Marketplace. Heck, I didn’t so far. All paid apps I have on my Lumia are trial versions, for the sole reason that I can’t buy apps because I don’t own a credit card, and I sure am not going to get one just to by a few games and the occasional good app. That is where the problem lies both for MS, the customer and to an extent Nokia. Paid apps just aren’t seeing the download numbers they could. Carrier billing can be a good draw on both customers and developers because of the higher chance of revenue.

Nokia said to bring carrier billing to Windows Phone and so far there is word that T-Mobile in Germany has it enabled and also Telus in Canada appears to be getting it. The question is, Nokia has it enabled for their own Nokia Store in a pretty large number of countries, but how long will it take to be implemented on Windows Phone.

It’s unclear how these carrier/operator billing things are set up, but if it is exclusive to Nokia Windows Phones than it would be a USP for their WP devices.

via: WMPoweruser

EDIT: Orange France has had it enabled from launch as well apparantly. Are there any more who have it enabled? Share it in the comments!


Category: Nokia

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