Looks like carrier billing for Airtel and Vodafone is going live in India for Google Play Store. Google had officially announced the partnership at the Google Playtime event in India in October, but didn’t share any timeline. In May this year, Google had announced carrier billing with Idea Cellular, although the service wasn’t rolled out immediately.
Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) allows you to buy apps, music, books, and movies from the Google Play Store while the cost is reflected in your postpaid mobile bill or taken off your prepaid balance.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the roll-out has been underway since last few days, but I can confirm now that it is working for me. I just set it up, and made the first purchase. You can set up carrier billing under the ‘Add a new payment’ option. It was seamless, really. To use the integrated billing system, each time you need to make a purchase, simply choose ‘Bill my Airtel Account’ on the payment method prompt.
Interestingly, Microsoft was the first to enable carrier billing in India. Idea Cellular had enabled carrier billing on Windows Store in December 2014.
Is carrier billing working for you on the Google Play Store? Tell us in the comments, and share which carrier are you on.