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Vodafone Opens Up Billing And Location To Encourage New Mobile Internet Services

vodafone_logo160.gifVodafone has announced an aggressive plan to stimulate a new generation of mobile internet applications by providing internet service developers with a single point of access to Vodafone’s global customer base of 289 million subscribers.

Vodafone also announced plans to make available a series of network API’s which will provide controlled access to their billing system as well as customer location information.

There has been a lot of discussion about what will be the future business for mobile operators as both voice voice and data transport revenues compress over time. This move looks to be a first step at utilizing and monetizing some of the key assets that an operator can control such as billing and location.

Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone said, “Vodafone is making these changes to make it easier for third parties to develop attractive new services as well as bill and support our customers through our network capabilities in all markets.”

He continued, “By giving them simple access to our global customer base and network assets, such as direct billing and location awareness, we will help them to make more money while providing our customers with the innovative services that they want.”

There are 3 main parts to this initiative:

  • Access to global customer base – developers should be able to develop an internet application just once and have it be available to all of Vodafone’s customers in all countries.
  • Billing – Vodafone will enable developers to use its direct billing capabilities so that customers can pay for services using their mobile phone through their existing Vodafone pre- and post-paid accounts rather than having to input sensitive credit card data.
  • Location – Vodafone will provide developers with controlled access to certain network capabilities, such as location awareness. This should enable them to create even more innovative mobile internet services and applications. Vodafone will also establish a framework for customers which let’s them control how their information is accessed and used.

Read the full press release.

Also of interest:

Vodafone Buys Mobile Social Network

Vodafone CEO Predicts Big Growth in Mobile Advertising

Mobile Advertising Done Right in a Unique Market: Lessons from Vodacom, South Africa
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