Amsterdam (February 18, 2013) - “VimpelCom Ltd” (“VimpelCom”, “Company” or “Group”) (NYSE: VIP),a leading global provider of telecommunications services, Microsoft Corporation, (“Microsoft”) (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Nokia Corporation (“Nokia”) (NASDAQ OMX: NOK1V; NYSE: NOK) today announced that they have entered into an agreement to deliver a new, enhanced digital entertainment experience for VimpelCom customers across its markets.
VimpelCom customers will be able to use their mobile accounts to easily find, try and buy digital content from the Windows Phone Store. The cost of any purchased application, game or music will be simply deducted from a customer’s prepaid credit or conveniently added to their monthly bill.
The Windows Phone ecosystem is expanding rapidly worldwide, with Windows Phone devices rolling out to more than 70 countries over the next 12 months and support for 50 display languages. Furthermore, Windows Phone Store offers more than 125,000 apps and games in 191 countries.
Nokia Lumia smartphones are powered by Windows Phone and, with Nokia being a leading device brand in many of VimpelCom’s markets, this provides a strong platform for VimpelCom to offer an enhanced mobile experience to both new and existing customers.
A dedicated ‘VimpelCom Shelf’ will make it easy for VimpelCom customers to navigate their way among the content available in the Windows Phone Store. Available via the local Windows Phone Store, the ‘VimpelCom Shelf’ will feature up to 200 selected applications, tailored to offer local content and services.
The ‘VimpelCom Shelf’ and mobile account payments for the Windows Phone Store will be rolled out in VimpelCom’s operations across the globe, starting later on this year.
Mikhail Gerchuk, VimpelCom’s Group Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer, said: "The Windows Phone mobile partnership will enable us to significantly enhance the smartphone experience for our customers. With the ‘VimpelCom Shelf’ we will bring tailored content to VimpelCom customers around the globe who use Windows Phone smartphones and will provide them with the most convenient way to access and pay for apps. In many of our markets we will be the first operator to launch mobile account payments for the Windows Phone Store.”
Chris Weber, Executive Vice President, Head of Nokia Global Sales & Marketing: “When this is deployed locally, it will enable VimpelCom customers to purchase Windows Phone content conveniently with payment via their mobile account. 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 while we continue to extend the line-up of our popular Lumia devices across geographies and price bands.”
“Windows Phone Store makes it easy for people to find and buy the only apps with Live Tiles,” said Todd Brix, senior director, Windows Phone Apps, Microsoft Corp. “VimpelCom mobile billing offers people more quick and easy payment options, giving them better access to the thousands of great apps in the Windows Phone Store,” he continued.
This latest agreement is part of VimpelCom’s consistent strategy of providing its customers with the best mobile experience and comes to complement the recently announced partnership with Google to deliver mobile account payments for Google Play Android store.