Telefonica has become the latest major mobile operator to launch its own applications store. The store – known as ‘mstore’ – will launch initially in the operator’s home market of Spain (via its ‘Movistar’ mobile brand) but plans to be eventually rolled-out across its entire global footprint, serving over 200 million subscribers. The Spanish pilot will launch with 1,000 applications and be offered to around 10 million of its Movistar subscribers, rising to 12 million in the coming weeks. Applications are classified into 14 categories: Games, Dictionaries, Entertainment, Finance, Health, GPS-Maps, Information, Photos and Videos, Social Networks, Travel and Books, Sports, Shopping, Tools and Education/Children. Apps will cost between EUR0.49 and EUR19.99 (excluding VAT), though 10 percent are offered for free. mstore will be accessible from the Movistar ’emoción’ portal, and new handsets sold by Movistar will give access through an icon on the mobile’s own menu.

“mstore is part of Telefonica’s strategy to bring mobile broadband to our customers, by complementing the value of data flat rate and giving customers quick access to a new world of applications for entertainment, lifestyle and utilities,” said Guillermo Ansaldo, chairman of Telefonica Spain. In a statement, the operator said its Spanish HSPA mobile broadband network covered around 92 percent of the population in towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants. Telefonica is the latest major mobile operator to launch its own applications store to rival those currently being offered by handset and platform vendors.