Vimpelcom has revealed a tie-up with Microsoft and Nokia that will see it get dedicated space on the Windows Phone Store and introduce direct operator billing.

The agreement sees the partners create a “VimpelCom Shelf” that will appear in the Windows Phone Store with up to 200 selected applications, tailored to offer local content and services.

Anything a customer purchases will be deducted from a customer’s prepaid credit or added to their monthly bill.

The operator said that both the shelf and the payments service will be rolled out across its 18 markets and 212 million mobile customers “later on this year”.

Vimpelcom chief commercial and strategy officer Mikhail Gerchuk said the deal meant it would be the first operator to launch mobile account payments for the Windows Phone Store “in many of our markets”.

The Windows Phone Store offers more than 125,000 apps and games in 191 countries.

Nokia’s Lumia smartphones are the leading device brand in many of Vimpelcom’s markets.

The vendor’s head of global sales and marketing Chris Weber, commented: “This marks yet another important step for the ecosystem and is a compelling example of a win-win-win situation for customers, developers and consumers alike.”

Last July, Vimpelcom signed a similar deal with Google for its Play service.

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