SingTel – BT

SingTel goes on App store offensive

It will start selling software to SMEs and mobile users

SINGAPORE Telecom is going all out to get software developers to back its new online applications stores.

In its latest effort to move beyond pure Internet and telecommunications services, SingTel will start selling software to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mobile users through two new Web-based stores.

The first site will retail mainly business software such as accounting, human resource and computer security applications to SMEs. These tools will be offered to customers over the Web for a monthly subscription fee.

This model has been gaining popularity in the past few years as it does away with upfront capital investments in new hardware and support staff.

For a start, seven applications will be offered through SingTel’s SME applications store. And potential buyers can try them for up to two months before deciding whether to buy, according to Bill Chang, executive vice-president of SingTel’s business group. ‘Every quarter we’ll have 20 to 30 more business applications. Hopefully, maybe more,’ he said.

SingTel’s second Web store will be devoted to mobile applications such as games and educational software, mirroring moves by phone giant Nokia and Apple.

But SingTel’s Web store will not be aligned to a specific handset brand. Instead, it will offer more than 1,300 applications for various phones ranging from Nokia’s Symbian-based devices to HTC’s Android-powered handsets.

To help stock the new Web stores, SingTel has forged a partnership programme with support from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and IE Singapore.

Through this, the telco hopes to woo developers by giving them access to its technology infrastructure and huge pool of customers.

Mr Chang said SingTel will help developers commercialise applications and help promote them to its regional users.

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