Idea Cellular will soon launch its own app store, for which Ericsson will provide the technology.
Although the launch date has not been confirmed, we have learnt that the operator plans to launch the store along with its 3G services, the announcement of which is expected in the next couple of weeks.
Idea Cellular already has an app store, but it offers only a bouquet of m-commerce services. The new app store will offer both paid and free applications for download. The application store will be accessible by both 2G and 3G customers, and will have a mix of entertainment, utility and gaming applications for most platforms including Android, Java and Symbian.
In a similar announcement, BSNL too has confirmed that it will have an application store of its own. However, details are not yet available. According to hearsay, Accenture will implement BSNL’s application store.
The state-run telco is looking at a much smaller number of applications on its store than Idea Cellular is. BSNL has been losing customers ever since mobile number portability, or the ability to switch operators while maintaining one’s mobile number, was introduced, and the company hopes to change its fortunes with this and other services.
Both Idea and BSNL are late entrants in the application market. Airtel and Aircel already have huge stores with more than 3 lakh applications each.