Sprint subscribers get carrier billing on Android Market

More carriers will be addd in the coming months, according to Google

Sprint subscribers will now be able to pay for the applications they buy on Android Market via their monthly cellphone bill, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

A phased roll-out of the service has begun, and will reach all users in the next few days, according to Google.

This is the second time in is less than a month that Google and Sprint have made a joint announcement. In March, Sprint said that Google Voice will become available "on all Sprint CDMA phones" and installed as an application on the Nexus S 4G smartphone. The Voice service offers features such as using one number for all phones and international calls at low rates.

Sprint subscribers aren't the only ones who can use carrier billing. Since last year, Google has been working to expand the payment method to more Android Market users on more carrier networks, the blog post said. Already, T-Mobile US and AT&T subscribers don't have to use a credit card to pay for applications on Google's application store. Recently, users on three networks in Japan -- SoftBank, KDDI, and NTT DoCoMo -- have also been added to the list.

The lack of more ways to pay for applications on Android Market has been a thorn in the side of both consumers and developers. Google needs to improve the buying experience for users, and add more payment methods, especially for worldwide use, developer Eric Wijngaard, who created photo editor PicSay, recently said via e-mail.

Google is working to appease both camps. The company will continue to partner with more carriers around the world to offer carrier billing options to their subscribers, and more announcements are coming in the months ahead, it said.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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