Mobile operator in Google Play deal
N 17 April 2012

Mobile operator in Google Play deal

Google has reportedly signed a contract with MTS, one of Russia’s three leading mobile operators. Together, the two companies will be promoting Google Play content in Russia, RBC daily reports, citing unnamed sources in the communications industry.
As part of the deal, first of its kind in Eastern Europe, MTS will add a Google Play widget to its branded smart phones running on Android, while Google Play will feature a section promoting apps offered by MTS and its partners. According to RBC, Google will also share proceeds from the apps downloaded by MTS phone holders — MTS will get 25 percent of each application’s price. This development is not expected to make serious change to mobile app industry as MTS-branded phones only claim less than 1 percent of the market. Russia’s Android app market is estimated between 1.5 and 2 billion rubles (roughly $50 — 67 million).
Vympelcom, another major mobile network (operates under Beeline brand) is currently in negotiations with Google. If the talks succeed, Beeline’s subscribers will be able to pay for Android apps they download using their phone accounts. Apart from receiving a share in Google’s proceeds, Vympelcom hopes the partnership will help it increase mobile traffic and the number of mobile Internet users.