Two operator-backed software groups have joined forces in an effort to give carriers more heft in competing with Apple and Google apps.
The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) and the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) say their planned wholesale apps ecosystem will be open for business by February 2011.
JIL chief Peters Suh was named CEO of WAC, which was registered as an official company at the start of this month. JIL – a joint venture between China Mobile, Softbank Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone – has been involved with WAC since its unveiling at the Mobile World Congress in February this year, along with the OMTP (via its BONDI standard).
Michel Combes, CEO of Vodafone Europe, was elected WAC chairman, and France Telecom deputy CEO Jean-Philippe Vanot was named as vice chairman.
OMTP CEO Tim Raby said WAC aims to create a single harmonized process to allow developers to create apps across smartphones and feature phones, rather than lock themselves into separate OS-based ecosystems.
WAC will serve as the wholesale platform for retail app stores and provide developers access to any storefront on the platform. WAC will also provide testing for developers to ensure apps comply to WAC specs.