Telecom majors Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications (RCom) on Tuesday announced their plans to launch mobile applications stores, joining global companies like Apple, Google, Motorola and BlackBerry.

While Bharti Airtel launched Airtel App Central, RCom said it will introduce the first version of its mobile applications store under the Reliance Applications Store label, in the country by the end of the month.

A mobile applications store is designed to enable developers to make available software and services like music, games, news and commerce applications to customers.

An expanded version of the Reliance Applications Store across the CDMA and GSM handsets would be launched towards the later part of this quarter.

Airtel will offer over 1,250 free and paid applications across 25 categories like business, games, books and social networking, Bharti Airtel said in a statement here on Mondah, adding the cost is automatically added to the customer’s mobile bill or deducted from the available talk-time.

Airtel App Central will offer local and regional applications for customers across the country, starting at Rs. 5, it added. “With the Airtel App Central, India’s first mobile applications store, we are offering a one-stop shop open 24x7 to meet all our customer’s personal device needs. We are empowering our mobile customers to transform their phones into smart devices with the click of a single button,” Bharti Airtel president for mobile services Atul Bindal said here while announcing the launch of the services.