Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the public sector mobile operator with operation in 20 circles apart from Delhi and Mumbai, has launched its very own applications store called the ‘BSNL Apps Store‘.
The store will be available to all BSNL mobile (2G and 3G) customers having GPRS facility across India and will offer a selection of more than 4,500 apps. The payment for these apps will be done through the prepaid balance or postpaid bill and users won’t need credit card or debit card for that.
BSNL customers will now be able to purchase and download applications for use on their handsets and will have a choice across 25 categories (both free and paid) which will include entertainment, news, finance, horoscope, sports, games, themes and utilities among others. India specific apps have also been provided.
Once they select and click the app they want, the required amount is automatically deducted from their talk time (in the case of pre-paid connections) or is added to the monthly bill (in the case of post-paid connections).
The free applications can be directly downloaded while the paid apps are available from a price range starting from Rs 8.
BSNL subscribers will have to get their GPRS facility activated in order to visit the BSNL Live WAP Portal. Once there, they will get a ‘BSNL Apps Store’ icon on the BSNL Live Home page which can be accessed for browsing the available apps.
According to BSNL, the browsing and downloading of content/application will be as per subscribers’ data plan and they will be charged for the content only when they download a particular application on their handset.
Browsing will be charged separately and download charges will be applicable only when subscribers download a particular application on their handset. The charges vary by application and these charges are displayed before the content is actually downloaded.
There are free, paid and subscription models for payments depending on the service and app being downloaded. Once subscribed, users can cancel their subscription via SMS, by going to ‘My Purchases link’ on BSNL Apps Store or calling BSNL customer care.
BSNL joins the league of operators like Airtel, Aircel, Idea and RCom who have their own app store. However, none of the operator has managed to create much impact with their app stores in comparison to the Android or Apple’s app store and it will be interesting to see how BSNL fairs in this game. And a lot will depend on its ability to keep refreshing its app store with new apps.