The GSMA gave an update today on its ambitious Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) initiative, but details about business models will have to wait until July.
In a conference call, GSMA Chief Marketing Officer Michael O’Hara said the WAC project has made substantial progress in the 11 weeks since it was announced at Mobile World Congress and talks are continuing with a number of parties to add to the membership roster.
At launch, 24 operators were involved in the effort, as well as handset makers LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. No new members were announced today. From the United States, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless are members, as well as T-Mobile USA parent Deutsche Telekom. NTT DoCoMo, Orange, China Mobile, China Unicom, Telefonica, Softbank Mobile and Vodafone are some of the other members.
Tim Raby, interim CEO of the WAC and CEO of the OMTP, explained that the initiative is meant to be truly international in nature with a lot of operators working together in new ways.
The problem the WAC is attempting to attack is chiefly around the fragmentation in the mobile apps market and ensuing difficulties for the parties involved, including developers. The idea is to offer a simplified process for developers so they can write and submit once, then sell and deploy their applications across multiple operators without having to make a lot of changes.
The work initially is building on the Joint Innovation Labs (JIL), OMTP BONDI and GSMA OneAPI, evolving them into a common specification and working with W3C on both the use and creation of specs where appropriate.
More specifics on WAC’s business and board members will be announced in July. WAC plans to publish materials and documentation for developers in September and hold its first developer event in November. Next February, WAC will open for business at Mobile World Congress.
WAC will operate as a non-profit, generating only enough revenues to cover its operational costs.
Filed Under: Industry regulations