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European mobile carrier Telefónica (NYSE:TEF) has entered into a new deal with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) that will make it easier for customers to buy digital items and subscribe to services using their mobile devices. Telefónica is already rolling out the payment platform in Europe and plans to offer the service in 14 of its global markets by the end of the year.
Facebook and RIM have partnered with Bango to offer mobile billing technologies, with the social network recently announcing the Pay Dialog mobile SDK platform that allows operators to work with third-party developers to integrate billing into an app. San Francisco startup Bango has now secured more than $75 million across a series of funding rounds since 2009.
Google and Microsoft have also enabled operator billing in their respective Google Play and Windows Phone Marketplace stores. Operator billing on Google Play is already live for O2 customers in Germany and will launch soon on Movistar networks in Spain. For Microsoft, Telefónica will setup a “Store within a Store” in the Windows Phone Marketplace for a few markets.
On Thursday, the Madrid-based Telefónica announced it expected its digital business to generate annual sales of about 5 billion euros or $6.2 billion by 2015.
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