Friday, August 19th, 2011 at 11:35
UK mobile operator Vodafone has become the first carrier in Europe to roll out operator billing for Android devices, allowing its customers in the UK (and soon Germany) to charge app purchases to their existing mobile bill.
Customers on both pay monthly and pay-as-you-go tariffs will now be able to select an option on the Android Market which will process the payment via Google’s partnership with the UK operator, bypassing the Google Checkout process. The new initiative will suit customers that are unable to add their card details to Google’s Android Market.
In 2010, Google launched Direct Carrier Billing in the US, making it available to both T-Mobile US and AT&T users, rolling out the service to Japanese carriers SoftBank, KDDI, and NTT DOCOMO in April 2011. Vodafone becomes the first carrier in Europe to make the service available to its customers.
Vodafone hopes that it will increase purchase volumes from its customers but also drive revenues for developers and its partners. Prices on the Android Market are transparent and payment options are detailed before the app is downloaded, allowing customers to be aware of what they are buying.
The carrier has also enforced safeguards, limiting app purchases to £30 on a single item (once per month) with a £250 monthly limit.
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Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 at 11:58
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has partnered with UK mobile operator Vodafone to trial a new emergency text message service which will alert Vodafone customers and those connected to its network when there has been a major crisis – such as a natural disaster or civil unrest.
The Foreign Office will pilot its service for a period of one year, initially sending free text messages to mobile phone owners in the UK with plans to explore the delivery of important information via a range of mobile and online tools, including smartphone apps and social media.
Other mobile providers taking part in the trial will be Asda Mobile, Lebara Mobile, Talkmobile, Talk Talk, BT Mobile, Gamma Telecom and Cognatel.
Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne says that the recent crises in Egypt, Libya and Japan have highlighted the need to deliver messages to people as quickly as possible and comes at a time when the UK is utilising mobile and social networks to communicate and notify friends and family of troubles in their area.
The pilot is part of the Foreign Office’s commitment to improve consular services.
We will soon have the ability to send text messages to all affected British nationals registered on our crisis database.
As well as this we’re also exploring delivering important information through a range of mobile and online tools, including smartphone apps, a travel advice site for mobile phones and making effective use of social media and digital tools.
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