Virgin launches mobile apps and music stores
Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile has teamed up with independent app store GetJar to push mobile games and applications to its youth focused customer base.
The Indian regulator only allowed MVNOs to operate in the country earlier this year, paving the way for an anticipated boom in mobile broadband revenues, which Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts will reach $3.9bn in India by 2013. Virgin’s success in entering the Indian mobile market through a franchise agreement with Tata was an early indication of the potential in the Indian market. By 2013 the Asia Pacific region, including India, will be the fourth largest MVNO market, with only Western and Eastern Europe and North America constituting larger regional markets.
Although MVNO subscriber numbers in the Asia Pacific developing region were only 14.3 million in 2008, by 2013 they are forecast to hit 20.4 million. Much of the growth in the Asia Pacific region is expected to come from developing markets such as India.
GetJar currently offers more than 70,000 free mobile games and applications to its users and claims over 300 per cent growth every year with almost three million downloads per day globally. The GetJar app store supports all major platforms such as Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Java and Symbian among others. Virgin Mobile India will make the app store available via its WAP portal –Vbytes – on GSM across 16 circles. Users will be able to download all applications free of cost, although data browsing charges of 1p per kb will be charged on access.
In related news, Virgin’s UK operation, Virgin Media, has unveiled a mobile music download site powered by IMI mobile’s DaVinci Music platform. The service, which launched August 21, has over a million tracks available and costs £3 for five tracks a month. Downloaded tracks are transferred directly to a customer’s computer.
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