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Carrier billing now available for movies, music, and books through Google Play

Google has announced that they will begin offering direct carrier billing for movies, music, and books in addition to Android apps in the Google Play store. This means that you can buy just about anything from the Play Store, and have the cost tacked on to your monthly cell phone bill through your carrier. It's not available everywhere, but the list of carriers that support direct billing is pleasantly robust --

  • Germany: T-Mobile, Vodafone
  • Italy: Vodafone
  • Japan: KDDI, Docomo, Softbank
  • Korea: KT, SKT, LGU+
  • Spain: Vodafone
  • UK: T-Mobile, Vodafone
  • US: AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint

Currently, only KDDI, Docomo, and Softbank in Japan, and T-Mobile in the US allow billing of other media. Other carriers (Sprint was mentioned by name) will be coming on-board soon. This should help users who can't or won't enter credit or debit card information into Google Wallet, and get more media in more phones.

Source: +Google Play, via Androinica

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • It probably also means carriers will now be able to charge for/make money from these sales. This is a bad thing if the price of the items goes up.
  • That's good news, now all I need to know, and REALLY want to know, is when will Google get their ass in gear and release "Google Play Music" in the UK! -_- I don't care about Google Play Movies as I have a rooted phone and Lovefilm for all my needs, I think a good physical media disc will never be beaten by streamed/downloaded content (blu-rays are just far superior to online/download HD) and I don't really care about Google Play Books (I like the feel of paper between my fingers and can't stand reading from an LCD screen, especially if small, for long periods of time) Me wants my Google Music service to use out and about and actually use for purchasing music when I rarely do (again I prefer the physical "more towards lossless" sound from a CD ripped, but ofcourse do rip at a high bitrate to wma/flac)
  • It would only be apps for Germany. No Books, Movies, or Music without proper censorship -__-
    And by that I mean at all.
  • I agree that it is odd not having full access to all play services and offers. But censorship has nothing to do with it. And i guess you know that.
  • Thats nice & Helpful , but When can we buy apps in Saudi Arabia ?????????? I've been using Android for 21 months now & I can't buy a single App , Because Google Wont let me !!!
    Whats so hard ? I'll buy you money Google ... Who don't like money ????? Apple Did it (Since iOS 2.0), Sony Ercisson did it (Back in the walkman days , it even had carrier billing) , Nokia did it & Microsoft will expand the Windows Phone MarketPlace to Saudi Arabia in the next update !!! As much as I like Android , By the time Windows Phone Apollo comes out If Google still won't let me buy Apps , I'll leave to Windows Phone
  • Seriously, still no paid ability in Saudi Arabia, wow Google needs to get a move on.
  • Yes , Can you believe this ?
    I've been using Android for almost 2 years , 2 phones (MileStone & Atrix) , 4 Android versions (2.0 , 2.1 , 2.2.1 , 2.2.2 & 2.3.4) & I still can't buy Apps !!! I bought Apps for my old 1st Gen. iPod touch , my Sony Ercisson W910i & my Stupid Nokia E75 , but NOT for my Motorolas !!! That @#$% is getting on my nerve
  • Dude: Its YOUR government's rules, Not Google's. You'd be the first in line screaming if Google side-stepped your government's rules.
  • They can't just do it without your government's approval. The question is what terms your government wants that Apple, Microsoft, and others were willing to agree to but Google is not. I want to think it's something noble, where Google is standing up for the users, but more than likely it's about money somehow.
  • Thank you Jerry for replying to me & pointing out that there's other issues involved. Im not a lawyer or a specialist in this stuff , but I don't think it will be hard to get the government's approval , Since Apple allowed us to buy Apps before the iPhone was officially released in Saudi arabia & Microsoft is doing the same now , They already said Saudi Arabia (Along side the rest of the GCC countries) will be able to purchase apps with the upcoming MarketPlace expansion , even before Windows Phone officially launches in Saudi Arabia in Q4 I bought Apps for my old 1st gen. iPod touch , I bought Apps for my Sony Ercisson W910i back in 2007 (via Carrier billing) & I bought Apps for my nokia E75 (via Carrier billing) !!! & My brother can buy Apps for his BlackBerries (Bold 9900 & PlayBook) but we don't trust him with a credit card lol The thing is allot of the good Android Apps are paid & I can't buy any of them & that is getting on my nerve lately Again , Thank you Jerry
  • Its not hard to get government approval, all Google needs to do is cross a few palms.
  • & ?
  • EDIT : "I'll Pay you money Google"
    It didn't let me edit
  • I like the idea of it but I don't like the thought of the security issues that could potentially arise from it.
  • The big news is the non US access to this payment method. As far as the US is concerned, carrier billing has been in place (perhaps by stealth) for some time already. My credit card expired, and the Play market simply offered to bill it thru the carrier.
  • sprint already has this for apps
  • That is why he said "... in addition to Android apps. ..." Now the $1,000,000 question. Currently I can prevent my daughter from buying cause she doesn't have a credit card, will I be able to prevent her from abusing this and buying stuff at a whim?
  • Perhaps your service provider can disable this payment option. E.g. in germany (most) provider disable payment via WAP on request.
  • Yes. I've been using it on Sprint for quite a while now. It just goes onto your next monthly bill.
  • It would be great to have prepaid and paypal support for payments in the play store. In Germany it's currently very popular to have a small cheap reseller/carrier and not one of the big ones like vodafone or t-mobile.
    So for all people having such contracts this approach is useless and the creditcard still is the only way to pay. But many people in Germany having no credit card... In nearly every store you can buy itunes prepaid cards... would be so great to be able to buy play store cards...*sigh*