BSNL Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has launched its very own applications store called the 'BSNL Apps Store'. The store will be available to all BSNL mobile (2G & 3G) customers (having GPRS facility) across India and will offer a selection of more than 4,500 apps.
BSNL customers will now be able to purchase and download applications for use on their handsets and will have a choice across 25 categories (both free and paid) which will include entertainment, news, finance, horoscope, sports, games, themes and utilities among others. India specific apps have also been provided.
The apps store is available for both pre-paid and post-paid customers and the best part is that customers don't have to make a credit/debit card purchase to download apps. Once they select and click the app they want, the required amount is automatically deducted from their talk time (in the case of pre-paid connections) or is added to the monthly bill (in the case of post-paid connections).
The free applications can be directly downloaded while the paid apps are available from a price range starting from Rs 8. BSNL subscribers will have to get their GPRS facility activated in order to visit the BSNL Live WAP Portal. Once there, they will get a 'BSNL Apps Store' icon on the BSNL Live Home page which can be accessed for browsing the available apps.
According to BSNL, the browsing and downloading of content/application will be as per subscribers' data plan and they will be charged for the content only when they download a particular application on their handset.
Browsing will be charged separately and download charges will be applicable only when subscribers download a particular application on their handset. The charges vary by application and these charges are displayed before the content is actually downloaded. The following charging models are currently used:
Free download: no charges applicable
One-time payment: subscribers are charged one time prior to download.
Data charges for browsing/Downloading/network
Subscription payment: can be per month, per week or per day. For example, per month model will provide the customer with an initial 30 day access to the application with automatic 30 day renewals till they cancel their subscription.
Once subscribed, users can cancel their subscription via SMS, by going to 'My Purchases link' on BSNL Apps Store or calling BSNL customer care.
With its exclusive apps store, BSNL has now joined the league of the likes of Android and Apple. But whether BSNL is able to update and deliver new apps on a regular basis with the same efficiency of Android or Apple, is something we will have to wait and see.