Nokia recently announced that consumers can now purchase content from the Ovi Store (http://www.ovi.com/) using their pre-paid credit or cell-phone contracts via an integrated SMS service. The service will be billed as part of their monthly bill from their operator or deducted from their Pre-Paid airtime credit.
“Until now, the only way to purchase from the Ovi Store has been via credit card,” says Yusuf Patel, solutions sales manager at Nokia South Africa. “This has prevented some consumers from purchasing content as they did not have access to a credit card. The new service allows consumers to purchase content more easily and quickly as it can be done via an SMS system, something that most people have access to.”
This service is available from three of South Africa’s network operators, MTN, Vodacom and Cell C. The SMS service will be billed according to the cost of the application or content being downloaded which ranges from R9-00 to R150-00. The simple process requires the consumer to select the content they want to purchase on the Ovi Store via operator billing, the purchase is confirmed automatically via email and SMS, including the costs. Download commences as soon as SMS confirmation has been received. Purchase verification is done in the process by the service provider.
According to Patel being able to purchase content from the Ovi Store this way is not only an advantage for the consumer due to the ease of the process, but it also means that more applications and content will be downloaded creating an even bigger market for developers in South Africa.
“Nokia have clearly been listening to the needs of local developers,” says Ron Bach, product manager, News24 Mobile. “Through the introduction of operator billing more users will now visit the Ovi Store, further increasing the opportunity for local developers to earn revenue by producing and selling relevant, high-quality, useful apps and mobile content.”
Patrick Kuwana, co-founder and CEO of Livemobile who already have premium applications available on the Ovi Store says that Nokia’s move to make apps on the Ovi Store available through operator billing is a major move in the right direction as this now gives Livemobile access to the majority of the mobile consumer market that either doesn’t have credit cards or are uncomfortable making micro credit card payments on their phones. “We expect to see exponential growth in the download of our apps because of this and this strategic move by Nokia will certainly spur us on to further development on the Nokia platform as we see Nokia as a partner who is serious about creating revenue channels to market for app providers like us,” says Kuwana.
The Ovi Store has a range of applications which have been developed specifically for Africa across platforms for S40 and S60 devices, for example AfriDoctor (http://store.ovi.com/content/21563?clickSource=search) as well as a range of other applications, games and content including Vuvuzela ring tones (http://store.ovi.com/content/43771) and Zakumi wallpapers (http://store.ovi.com/content/43147?
clickSource=search) amongst other applications from around the world.
Visit Nokia’s Ovi Store at http://www.ovi.com/services/