Filipino operator Sun Cellular has commissioned net mobile AG to implement direct carrier billing for Google Play.
Sun is the mobile brand of Digitel Mobile Philippines, a subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). The decision to bring net-m on board for the implementation follows the company’s success at deploying carrier billing for Sun’s sister company and fellow PLDT subsidiary, Smart Communications. Meanwhile, net-m is a subsidiary of Japan’s NTT DOCOMO.
The Philippines has always been a very dynamic mobile market, accounting for more than 10% of global text messages at its peak. At the same time, its mobile operators were generating the highest proportion of non-voice revenues in the world. Sun has a total mobile subscriber base of 15.6m, with the fastest growing postpaid subscriber base in the country in 2014.
Mobile phones remain an essential part of Filipinos’ daily life due to the multiple functions that these devices offer to users. After reporting volume growth of 9% in 2013, the market for mobile phones rose by 12% in 2014 and is set to rise again in 2015. Filipinos continue to prefer smartphones as prices of the latter drop, making it affordable to all middle-income buyers. Another factor for rapid growth is that credit card penetration in the Philippines is very low.
Mellissa Limcaoco, Head at Innovation and Product Development at Sun Cellular, said: “With Direct Carrier Billing more of our users can download paid apps, digital books, local e-magazine titles and e-pins without a credit card. net-m’s Google Carrier Billing connection will only accelerate this trend.”