WAC is banking on its combined 3 billion+ subscriber base (excluding future operator members that are reportedly expected to sign on soon) to give it the clout and the scale to convince the likes of Google to deal cellcos into their future apps development roadmaps rather than work against them, according to Rethink Research's Caroline Gabriel.
If nothing else, WAC could be a boon for one other mobile platform group: the LiMo Foundation, a.k.a. the Linux-based open-source platform not controlled by Google that's also cellco-friendly. LiMo's operator membership includes JIL and WAC co-founders Vodafone, Verizon Wireless and Softbank, as well as NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Telefica Orange and Telecom Italia (all members of WAC), and LiMo already supports standards like BONDI that WAC will adopt. Unsurprisingly, LiMo has endorsed WAC already.
Finding common ground
The main potential snag: operators aren't exactly known for cooperating well with the competition, especially on things they hope to use as market differentiators. Some might point to alliances such as Bridge Alliance and Conexus Mobile Alliance as successful examples, but the members of those alliances don't compete in each other's markets. WAC includes rival cellcos within Japan, Korea, China and the US, among other markets.
Even some operators are skeptical - Telstra CTO Dr Hugh Bradlow said fighting OS fragmentation was a job for handset makers, not networks.
That said, the other big story from MWC was
during the Q&A following his keynote speech. Perhaps a common wariness over
's ultimate mobile designs could unite cellcos closer than any GSMA initiative.