Mobilink Android customers will be able to buy Google Play content with their mobile accounts

VimpelCom Ltd. (the parent company of Mobilink Pakistan) has finalised the deal with Google to bring carrier billing for Google Play (the app store for Android devices) to its customers all over the globe. In result, the customers of Mobilink in Pakistan (or other child companies of VimpelCom in other markets) will be able to buy apps, games, books and other content from Google Play store via their mobile accounts. No credit cards or debit cards will be required. This option will be available to both prepaid and postpaid customers. The cost of any purchased app will be simply deducted from a customer’s credit/balance (for prepaid customers) or it will be added to their monthly bill/invoice (for postpaid customers).

According to the press release, mobile account payments or carrier billing for the Google Play store will be rolled out across the globe, starting later on this year.

Now there is another proposition. As now Telenor Group is the biggest stake holder of VimpelCom Ltd. Will Telenor Group bring such an initiative to its subsidiaries? e.g. Telenor Pakistan? Well there is no such a statement from Telenor Pakistan or Telenor Group. But specifically VimpelCom’s deal will bring the carrier billing to the customers under its subsidiaries.

For more information on Google Play carrier billing, click here. Or to read more about the deal, check out the press release attached below or click at the source link.

[source Mobilink]

Press Release

Amsterdam (July 5, 2012) – Mobilink has announced today that its parent company, “VimpelCom Ltd” (“VimpelCom”,”Company” or “Group”) (NYSE: VIP), a leading global provider of telecommunications services,and Google, a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information, today announce an agreement to deliver a new, enhanced digital entertainment experience for VimpelCom customers across its markets.

VimpelCom customers will be able to use their mobile accounts to easily find, try and buy Google Play content. The cost of any purchased app can now be simply deducted from a customer’s prepaid credit or just added to their monthly bill.

The Google Play storebrings together Google digital goods including apps, games, Google Books, Google Music and Google Movies into a single unified offering. Users can access their entire library of music, videos, books, apps, and games in one place, all of which are also stored online, without the need to synchronize devices.

A dedicated “VimpelCom Channel” will make it easy for VimpelCom customers to navigate their way among the 600,000 apps available in the Google Play store. Available via the local Google Play store, the VimpelCom channel will feature dozens of apps, tailored to offer local content and services. The “VimpelCom Channel” and mobile account payments for the Google Play store will be rolled out in VimpelCom’s operations across the globe, starting later on this year.

Mikhail Gerchuk, VimpelCom’s Group Chief Commercial Officer, said: “the collaboration with Google will provide our customers around the world with a convenient way to access and pay for millions of apps, games and songs, significantly enhancing the smartphone experience in countries where banking and credit card services are not widely used.

In most of our markets, we will be the first operator to launch mobile account payments for Google Play store and with the “VimpelCom Channel” we will bring tailored content to millions of our customers around the globe using Android smartphones” he said.

This latest agreement is part of VimpelCom’s consistent strategy of providing its customers with the best mobile internet experience, complementing its recently announced partnership with Opera Software to deliver better mobile web browsing for customers using a low-cost mobile phone.

Disclaimer
This press release contains “forward-looking statements”, as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements relate to the timing of the Company’s rollout of the “App Channel” and mobile payments for the Google Play store. These and other forward-looking statements are based on management’s best assessment of the Company’s position and of future market conditions and trends. These discussions involve risks and uncertainties. The actual outcome may differ materially from these statements as a result of continued volatility in the economies in our markets, unforeseen developments from competition, governmental regulation of the telecommunications industries, general political uncertainties in our markets and/or litigation with third parties. There can be no assurance that such risks and uncertainties will not have a material adverse effect on the Company. Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in any forward-looking statements include the risk factors described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2011 and other public filings made by the Company with the SEC, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference. The Company disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

About Mobilink
Mobilink is Pakistan’s leading cellular and Blackberry service provider. With over 35 million subscribers, Mobilink maintains market leadership through cutting-edge, state of the art technology, the strongest brands, the largest portfolio of value added services, a broadband carrier division providing next generation internet technology as well as the country’s largest voice and data network with over 8,500 cell sites. For more information, visit www.mobilinkgsm.com

About VimpelCom
VimpelCom is one of the world’s largest integrated telecommunications services operators providing voice and data services through a range of traditional and broadband mobile and fixed technologies in Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic and Canada. VimpelCom’s operations around the globe cover territory with a total population of approximately 782 million people. VimpelCom provides services under the “Beeline”, “Kyivstar”, “djuice”, “Wind”, “Infostrada” “Mobilink”, “Leo”, “banglalink”, “Telecel”, and “Djezzy” brands. As of March 31, 2012VimpelCom had 209 million mobile subscribers on a combined basis. VimpelCom is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (VIP). For more information visit: http://www.vimpelcom.com.

About Google Inc.
Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit http://www.google.com.