Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One Mobile Operator Apps Consortium Dies, Another Gets Ready to Launch

One very large mobile service provider effort to create a stronger Web applications business has given up the chase, while another more-focused consortium is getting ready to launch.

The Wholesale Applications Community, a large consortium of leading GSM-based mobile service providers from around the world, has decided to sell off it sassets and merge the remainder of the effort into a parallel GSM Association effort.

Separately, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone Group, Verizon Wireless and Telef√≥nica, for example, separately are setting up an interoperable way of allowing all of their customers to buy any mobile application available in any member  application store.

As often is the case, very-large consortia can become unwieldy, especially when time to market is a concern, as arguably is the case for any mobile service provider effort to create a viable app store effort able to compete with the likes of Apple and Google.

Apigee, a leading provider of API products and services, has acquired the technology assets of WAC, principally a carrier billing programming interface. for in-app purchases.

WAC was started in 2010 and was backed by 60 operators and suppliers, including Samsung, Intel, Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Fujitisu, NEC, Hewlett-Packard, HTC, LG and Research in Motion.

The objective was to create a common standard for Web applications usable by all GSM service providers, rather than common mobile applications in a direct sense.

As you might guess, the initiative was intended to create more value for mobile service providers in a world where applications were viewed as rapidly consolidating in the ecosystems run by Apple and Google.

You might say the results have been unspectacular, but that might not be surprising to industry watchers who have been saying the odds of success were high to begin with. The global telecom industry has had a rather mixed record of success creating key standards that drive a significant amount of market success.

ncluding the building of substantial third party and “owned” applications that can use the APIs.

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