Orange France is launching Operator Billing for Windows Phone 7 today on 23rd February. The service will essentially allow Orange customers to buy applications on Windows Phone Marketplace but pay for them on the same bill for their general mobile phone usage.
Orange France is the first European carrier to offer the service, thanks to Microsoftâ€™s deal with MACH for its Direct Billing Gateway (DBG) service. Carrier billing is already active in Telstra Australia.
â€œIt is a new step forward in our partnership with Microsoft on Windows Phone 7,â€ said Xavier Perret, VP of strategic partnerships at Orange. â€œIt will allow our customers to enjoy the real benefits of their content purchases from the Windows Phone Marketplace by offering them a simpler and more secure payment method.â€
Operator billing frees users from the need to have credit cards andÂ has allowed Nokia to grow sales by 70% in 2009.Â The Ovi store is currently generating more revenue that the Android Market, likely partly as a result of this feature.
Orange UK is set to follow soon after.