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Batelco to launch phone-enabled online mall

Manama, November 19, 2012

Batelco, the leading telecom service provider in Bahrain, has announced plans to set up an online facility similar to eBay that will enable consumers to buy and sell goods on their phones.

It will be available as an "app" on smartphones and other smart devices and will benefit consumers and businesses, said Batelco Bahrain chief executive Rashid Abdulla.

"This first for Bahrain will be an online superstore, where marketers from across the country can come on board and do business," he told our sister publication the Gulf Daily News.

"We have already started talking to businesses and there is a lot of interest."

Abdulla was speaking on the sidelines of an event to launch the Batelco Ideas Centre, at the company's Hamala headquarters.

"Basically, the app will be used to display and sell anything," he said. "It could be services, goods or products. Anyone can register online and be ready to go. It's that simple."

The service has been primarily targeted at small businesses who cannot afford to set up a shop or a store.

"It can also be used by individuals who will have to register before they are ready to go," said Abdulla. "It will work on much the same way as e-bay does, without the restrictions or limitations that come with e-bay."

Abdulla said the service would initially be available for businesses and people in Bahrain.

"However, as time passes and when it becomes popular, we can develop it further and offer it to people outside the country," he said.

After being tested, the service is expected to go online early next year. "Feedback from merchants will be taken and the market place will be developed all the time depending on needs," said Abdulla.

He also revealed plans to offer "apps" from the Android Market and Apple's App Store, along with those from other platforms, to users.

"This is a technology-driven initiative and we want to capitalise on the latest trends," added Abdulla. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Batelco | Phones | Android | app | Virtual mall |

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