Back in 2011, every telecom operator was launching its own app store – the idea was to own the entire ecosystem. And they failed. And now, the trend is restarting with Aircel launching “Aircel BookMate” an e-book store, exclusively for its subscribers. Users of the service can simply browse, store or download e-books using Aircel’s Android app (Google Play store). Customers can also access it through WAP on mobile, WEB on PC and LAPTOP, & App downloads.
Users have to subscribe to monthly plans to avail the service .Alternatively one can also pay one time to buy Aircel BookMate points. Unused points will be rolled over to next month. These points will be used as virtual currency to buy online version of books. Currently, one can buy 50 points in Rs 25, 100 points in Rs 50 and 200 points is Rs 100.
Comics, magazines, nonfiction and fictional books are available on the Aircel’s digital store, Aircel BookMate. An Aircel connection (Mobile number) is mandatory to use the service (note: as long as you registered membership, you can download the purchased content anytime within a year).
What they could have done differently?
Play the infrastructure role.
That is instead of launching their own stores, operators should enable carrier billing for such services on app stores and make the whole flow more logical and useful for the subscribers (aren’t users more likely to go to Amazon/Android or Apple stores?), unless there is a unique content (which isn’t really the case).
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