Tom Farrell, General Manager, Nokia, Lower Gulf
For the first time in the UAE, Etisalat and Nokia customers will have the option to purchase content from the Nokia Ovi store and directly bill them to their Etisalat mobile account. Customers will be able to conveniently and securely pay for any applications via their Etisalat account and the costs will be automatically accrued. The service will either be charged as part of the customer’s monthly bill for post-paid accounts, or against their Wasel pre-paid airtime credit total.
Etisalat’s direct billing service for the Nokia Ovi store is the first-of-its-kind in the UAE. The Nokia Ovi Store is a one-stop-shop where consumers can download mobile games, applications, videos, images and personalized content to their Nokia devices and Nokia smartphones. Globally, Nokia consumers download over 5 million apps a day and over 3 million apps weekly in the Middle East region.
Matthew Willsher, Etisalat CMO said: “At Etisalat, we are committed to offer our customers practical mobile services that will improve their overall mobile experience. The direct billing service for the Nokia Ovi store will make it easier for customers to get mobile content they need while having the simple and secure option of billing it directly to either their Wasel prepaid and/or postpaid account.”
Willsher added, “Our partnership with Nokia is in line with our strategy to invest in leading technologies with significant players and leaders in the industry. As the Middle East’s largest telecom operator, partnering with Nokia, given their industry expertise and their global know-how, helps reinforce our position as a customer centric leader in the global market place.”
There is a fantastic mix of both free and paid for content available on the Nokia Ovi store. Angry Birds and Need for Speed are available for download for the gaming fanatics. There are great social networking and instant messaging applications available including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Additionally there are many locally relevant applications including apps for Al Jazeera, Sport360, Channel 4 Radio Network, Gulf News and a host of local Arabic language and Islamic applications.
“Mobile applications have become a necessity for today’s mobile users who need to be connected and receive emails, chat messages and social media updates on their mobile devices. Now with Nokia Ovi store direct billing through Etisalat it is now easier than ever to stay connected with your loved ones and be entertained on the go. By breaking down the barriers to purchase mobile apps, Nokia Ovi store can play an increasingly important role in peoples’ lives” said Tom Farrell, General Manager, Nokia, Lower Gulf.
In addition to mobile account billing through Etisalat, consumers will continue to have the existing payment option via credit card. The mobile account billing is now available in the UAE with Saudi Arabia and Egypt expected to be operational later in 2011, and the cooperation will be extended to other Etisalat operations in the Middle East and Africa region going forward.