The FT reports:
VimpelCom, the global telecoms operator, has signed an agreement with Microsoft and Nokia that will allow its customers to use their mobile accounts to buy applications and content on the Windows Phone platform.
Under the agreement, VimpelCom customers will be able to use their mobile accounts to find, try and buy digital content from the Windows store. The cost of any applications, games or music purchased will be deducted from pre-pay customers’ phone credits, or added to subscribers’ monthly bills.
VimpelCom will create its own virtual “shelf” to help customers find digital content in the Windows store, some of which will be tailored to local services.
I wonder what form this “shelf” will take. If it’s yet another operator attempt at a walled garden, it’s doomed to be dead on arrival. But if the parties involved are smart about it -- a very big IF -- it could turn into quite a useful tool for consumers.