Google's regular expansion of carrier billing, which lets customers charge apps and and other purchases to their next wireless bill, has been mostly focused on Europe for the last year or so. But if you're a customer of the Total Access Communication Public Company Limited of Thailand, better known as "DTAC," you now have the option as well. According to the support page for the Play Store's carrier billing, DTAC joined the list late last night.
Carrier billing for the Play Store is slowly, slowly making its way across Europe, which probably isn't much comfort for those who want it and still can't access it. If you happen to be in Germany and use the third-largest carrier in the country, you no longer have to wait. German carrier E-Plus was added to the list of carrier billing supporters yesterday.
For the uninitiated, carrier billing allows users to buy apps, songs, books, movies, and in-app purchases by charging the amount to their carrier bill instead of a credit or debit card.
Customers of T-Mobile in the Netherlands should be able to start charging Google Play purchases to their phone bills, in addition to more traditional payment methods. Google has updated its support pages to reflect the change.
Competing mobile carrier Hi in the Netherlands got carrier billing last year. At the time, Dutch news sources were reporting that T-Mobile would be getting carrier billing soon, as it already had deals in place in many other EU nations.
The list of cell phone carriers supporting bill payments for Google Play Store purchases is slowly (sloooooowly) growing. Today Google Play's official support page added Bell in Canada and Orange in Spain to the full list, bringing the number of compatible carriers in both nations to two. Previously only Rogers/Fido was supported in Canada and Movistar was supported in Spain.
This news might not be a surprise to some Bell customers - Canadian gadget site MobileSyrup reports that the carrier confirmed Google Play billing exactly one month ago, but for some reason it hasn't been added to Google's support page until now.
The default way to order content from the Play Store is to add a credit card to Google Wallet, but if you've grown accustomed to having purchases show up on your bill like the good ol' days when phones were phones, there's the option to enable carrier billing. The choice isn't universal, and while it's available to customers on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon here in the US, it still has to trickle out to other carriers around the world.
Normally we're pretty pleased when we can report that a new country or carrier has enabled the option for carrier billing in the Google Play Store, allowing customers to charge app and media purchases directly to their phone bill. But for some reason, European carrier Vodafone seems to have dropped the option entirely. Vodafone has disappeared from the list of carrier billing partners on Google's Play Store support page, and we've confirmed the loss of capability from individual users in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
European readers, no one could blame you for being a little miffed at Google when it comes to the Play Store. The company's focus on the United States is impossible to deny, especially when you look at the availability of carrier billing. But they're slowly, slowly rolling out the feature to more and more carriers and countries. Today Both Switzerland and Belgium get one carrier each added to the Play Store billing club: Swisscom and Mobistar, respectively.
A few of our European readers might have discovered this already, but Google's Carrier Billing page for the Play Store was updated yesterday. According to the additions, Android users on the Bouygues carrier in France and Play (the carrier, not the store) in Poland should now be able to buy apps and media via their phone bill. We've reached out to Google for confirmation and haven't heard back, but a post to this list is usually conclusive.
Update: It looks like Telstra has had carrier billing for a couple of months, and Google is just now getting around to updating the support page. Thanks to Adam Ricket (@onlineadr) for the heads-up.
Good news, Aussies: your mega-carrier Telstra is now in Google's good graces when it comes to billing for apps and other purchases on the Play Store. Just select carrier billing during the checkout process, and the purchase price will be added to your next phone bill instead of your credit or debit card.