SK Telecom (SKT) has announced an agreement with Google to “strengthen” the Android Market apps store in South Korea. Among the developments planned is the addition of operator billing support, which will allow customers to add purchase costs directly to their phone bill, rather than needing to make a separate credit card payment. So far, operator billing support has not been widely available in Android Market, following the launch of this feature by T-Mobile USA in 2009. It was noted that Google recently updated the terms and conditions of its Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement in preparation for the introduction of wider operator billing support, adding references to “authorised carriers” in the payment clauses.
SKT will also add a channel to Android Market to introduce and recommend applications for subscribers, which will be accessible via the main page of Android Market. It said that it is “in a unique position to help our customers discover and enjoy high-quality applications that best suit their needs.” The operator is also planning a developer support initiative, led by the creation of an ‘Open Innovation Center.’