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AIS part of new SingTel-Samsung

Singapore Telecom and South Korean mobile-phone manufacturer Samsung yesterday announced partnership programmes aimed at benefiting 500 million users of SingTel networks in six countries, including Thailand.

The four partnership programmes are direct carrier billing, regional mobile application development, retail collaboration, and direct access to selected applications.

To be progressively launched by entities in the SingTel Group - SingTel in Singapore, Optus in Australia, Advanced Info Service (AIS) in Thailand, Airtel in India and Africa, Globe Telecom in the Philippines and Telkomsel in Indonesia - these initiatives cut across many areas such as marketing, content and technology. This collaboration will help differentiate the entities' services and improve their competitiveness.

As part of this collaboration, Pratthana Leelapanang, AIS executive vice president for marketing, said that this month the Thai telecom would launch direct carrier billing to allow its post-paid and pre-paid customers to buy apps and content from Samsung Apps without a credit card.

"The purchase amount will simply be charged to their mobile-phone airtime bills or deducted from their prepaid account balances without any more need to rely on credit cards," he said.

Mark Chong Chin Kok, chief executive of SingTel International, said members of the SingTel Group and Samsung were coming together to give the app development a boost. This programme will identify innovative start-ups in the region and help to accelerate their development and gain access to the group's 500 million mobile-service subscribers. He said that this year the SingTel Group in six countries had invested Bt234 billion to enhance the mobile data experience for customers.

The retail collaboration programme will provide a one-stop shop for customers' smartphone needs at selected stores of Samsung and SingTel's regional associates. Customers will be able to access selected services directly on the phone without having to download the apps for them.

SingTel has around 3.9 million customers in Singapore, while Optus has around 9.5 million, AIS 40 million, Airtel 370 million, Globe Telecom 35 million, and Telkomsel around 130 million.


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