One97 Communications has inked a partnership with Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) to provide them its portfolio of games, from Indian game developers for SingTel and Playphone’s mobile gaming store WePlay, a One97 spokesperson told MediaNama.
This was first reported by The Economic Times although the report appears to have confused this tie-up with Paytm’s games service (Gamepind), which is in the process of being rolled out, and has also integrated in-app billing for Vodafone and Idea, with tie-ups with Airtel and BSNL in the final stages.
Last month, SingTel had signed an exclusive tie-up with PlayPhone to announce an alternate mobile gaming store called WePlay which will be preloaded on SingTel handsets in its regional network. The store was expected to first launch in Singapore followed by other SingTel associates in the next six to 12 months. In India, SingTel has a significant stake in Airtel and is also lookingto buy out its minority shareholders in Singtel Global (India) Pvt Ltd.
SingTel had mentioned that WePlay would allow gaming app developers reach out to potential customers who don’t have credit cards by offering a carrier billing payment option. Note that both Apple’s app store and Google Play Store currently offer only credit cards as a payment option. While Google had apparently inked carrier billing deals with Reliance Communications in 2012 and Uninor in 2011, it still hasn’t seen the light of the day yet.
Its also worth noting that carrier billing market is heating up in India with a series of developments in the recent months: Fortumo launched in India in September and setup its first Indian office in New Delhi, Boku acquired Qubecell to setup Boku India in November, Ver Se launched a carrier billing platform iPayy while NeoMobile had tied-up with Vodafone and Airtel to launch its Onebip m-commerce service in India. This is a segment that Paytm and One97 can also address, given their relationship with carriers in India.
One97 Digital Goods marketplace
After receiving an approval from the Reserve Bank of India to launch a semi-closed prepaid wallet in August 2013, One97 Communications’s consumer facing business Paytm had stated plans to retail its consumer facing services like caller ringback tones (PTunes), Deals, celebrity chat (Star Talk), Games, Videos and mobile content under the Paytm brand as digital goods.
It had also announced plans of a digital goods marketplace wherein it will offer third party services in categories like games, music, videos, deals, top-ups and tickets besides its own services. These services was expected to be available through dedicated apps for each service like Paytm Videos, Paytm Games, Paytm top-ups and others. (Read: One97 Brings Its Consumer Services Under The Paytm Brand As Digital Goods).
Earlier in February 2013, One97 Communications had also pointed towards the impending launch of a mobile ad network called AdWorks, which it is still in private beta at the time of writing this article.