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carrier billing

The idea of buying apps and games through your cell phone carrier is not new on mobile, but it is a novel idea for those on desktops, laptops, and tablets. Today, Microsoft is officially partnering up with Boku to bring carrier billing to Windows 10 proper with direct integration in the Windows Store.

The partnership is kicking off with Sprint and Swisscom although more carriers are arriving "in the coming months". With the option enabled, users can buy movies, music, games, apps and more on any Windows 10 device and have it billed directly to their phone bill instead of using a credit card.

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It looks like Indian carrier Idea has enabled carrier billing for Windows Phone, which allows customers to purchase digital content from the Windows Phone Store with their phone balance. Several users on our forums have already confirmed that the option is now working for them, and if you're an Idea customer, head on over to the payment options on your phone to check if it is available for you.

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Microsoft has teamed up with African mobile operator Safaricom to provide consumers residing in Kenya the means to purchase Windows Phone apps and games through their contract. This removes the requirement to have a credit card configured on a Microsoft account before being able to download content from the app store. Purchasing apps and games will add the displayed price to airtime balances or postpaid bills.

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Microsoft's Todd Brix announced yesterday new developer tools to further expand the opportunity for those who wish to produce content for Windows Phone. As well as new capabilities for developers, the official blog post also goes into detail about new payout markets, as well as expanded payment options and how the store is growing. If you're considering whether or not Windows Phone is worth it, these changes may sway your mind.

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More mobile operators are implementing billing support for the Windows Phone Store and now Vodafone in Italy has followed suit. Offering customers the ability to use their contracted plans as a way to pay for apps and content from mobile phone stores, it's a more convenient payment gateway to using cards on the go. If you don't have a card or wish to use one on your Microsoft account, your monthly contracted bill will include purchases on the Windows Phone Store.

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Telefonica has announced a deal between Microsoft and its Spanish arm, Movistar. This partnership will enable consumers who use a Windows Phone on the network to pay for content on the Store with prepaid credit or a contract bill. The operator notes in a statement that this move will help reduce the number of steps required to make a purchase, providing an alternative to those who prefer going through their operator for billing.

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While everyone here has played a game or used an app that offers some kind of in-app-purchase (IAP), most of us probably don’t give the mobile payment systems that work behind the scenes much thought. And yet developers certainly have to consider mobile payment systems if they’re going to accept payments from users.

At GDC last week, we had the opportunity to speak with Rain Rannu, the Co-Founder of Fortumo Ltd.  Fortumo provides mobile payment services for Windows Phone 7.5 and 8, Windows 8 and RT, and several other mobile platforms. They’ve recently teamed up with Microsoft to offer an exciting deal for developers who sign up to use Fortumo with their Windows products by the end of May.

Head past the break for more details and our video interview!

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Russian mobile operator Beeline has announced on Twitter that the network will support carrier billing on Windows Phone this coming summer. Consumers will then be able to add apps and games purchased on the Windows Phone Store to the monthly invoice, opening up the catalogue of content to those who don't wish (or are unable) to use debit / credit cards.

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Nokia has announced that it has signed an agreement with VimpelCom Ltd, a global provider of telecommunications services (reportedly the 6th largest mobile operator in the world). The partnership will deliver a new way for consumers to enjoy digital entertainment in the Windows Phone Store, and is also being backed by Microsoft. 

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