Vietnam’s largest mobile operator Viettel has partnered with Opera to launch an app store that offers data subscribers unlimited downloads for VND10,000 ($0.45) a week.

The AppMarket, powered by the Opera Mobile Store, has more than 300,000 apps and games that run on the Android, Java, BlackBerry and Symbian platforms.

Customers can make purchases without a credit card via SMS or the operator’s website. Subscriptions are renewed automatically every week if subscribers don’t cancel them before the new subscription period starts.

The subscription model saves consumers a lot of money and effort compared to buying apps one by one, said Phạm Thanh Phuong, a vice director at Viettel.

The model will help strengthen Vietnam’s mobile-app development ecosystem by providing increased marketing and monetisation opportunities for both Vietnamese app developers and operators, Opera said in a statement. The app store has attracted 174 Vietnamese app and game developers.

Viettel, which is run by the military, has a 46 per cent market share with its 66 million mobile connections. Almost a third of its user base now has mobile broadband (3G), up from 24 per cent a year ago, according to GSMA Intelligence.