Telenor executes on Google deal, starting in Sweden

As of today, Telenor customers in Sweden will have the opportunity to pay for apps and games purchased on Google Play™ via their phone bill as well as access an exclusive shelf in the Google Play store. Customers in other Telenor operations will have access to the same functions in the near future.

In November last year, Telenor and Google launched a global agreement to make it even easier for users to purchase apps and games on their mobile phones without the need for a credit card. Today’s announcement is the first concrete initiative based on the agreement presented by Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas in Hong Kong last year.

According to Rolv-Erik Spilling, SVP and Deputy Head of Digital services in Telenor: “This launch is the consequence of Google and Telenor´s strategic partnership around the Android™ ecosystem, which is driven by the vision to add value for the customers. There are more than 675,000 apps and game available on Google Play, and Telenor’s app panel will carefully select a maximum of 50 apps which they will recommend exclusively for their Android users. This will enable Telenor customers to easily discover better and richer content opportunities.”

The agreement with Google also includes the possibility of purchasing apps instantly and charging it to the operator bill. A survey by Opinium of more than 2,000 UK and German smartphone users concludes that 37 per cent of app users pay using operator billing. This shows a growing preference for charging payments to the phone bill rather than to cards or PayPal.

The solution with operator billing will be rolled out gradually in Sweden this week, with Norway and Denmark in the pipeline. Hungary, Malaysia and Thailand will launch shelf shortly, and Google and Telenor are working on deploying operator billing in these markets too.

The different business units will to a large degree have their own, local content on the Telenor shelf. Common for several of the countries is the Bipper-app “bSafe,” an app specially designed to turn your smartphone into a safety device.

According to Silje Vallestad, founder and CEO, “bSafe is the world’s leading mobile safety application. Partnering up with Telenor to launch bSafe is very important to us. Telenor is a great company founded on the same values as us keeping family and safety of high importance, and to make sure Telenor’s customers get the best.”

The upgrade requires no effort on the part of Telenor’s Android users. When the service is launched, all they need to do is to enter Google Play on their Android handsets and select the Telenor tile on the front page. This will take them to the handpicked selections of the most current, relevant apps.

Contact information:

Atle Lessum, Head of Communication,Telenor Digital Services, +47 415 05 645,

Google Play and Android are trademarks of Google, Inc.