This year’s Mobile World Congress saw the formal debut of the “Wholesale Applications Community,” which at the time consisted of 24 mobile operators and device makers with the intention of creating a simple route to market for application developers, in addition to diminishing the fragmentation that exists when multiple sources begin developing their own mobile app strategies.
Nearly three months later, the group collectively known as the “WAC” has already made significant headway in its cause. Since then, the WAC has already attracted 40 members and this week will announce its chosen to be based in London, where it will merge with another industry body called the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP).
Backed by nine operators including AT&T, Orange and Telecom Italia, Nokia and Ericsson, the OMTP developed the nascent “Bondi open apps standard,” which is used in the recently announced Samsung Wave handset.
The newly combined group’s first task will be to pick a technology platform from the numerous competing open standards, including Bondi. The group has already chosen to use the open platform currently under construction by the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) partnership between Vodafone, Verizon Wireless of the US, Softbank in Japan and China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile phone network.
Though many doubted the long-term viability of the WAC, it look as though the group is gaining the momentum it needs to make a difference. There’s a long way to go, and the concepts the WAC are working towards are ambitious to say the least, but the steps they’ve taken so far seem to be the right ones.