Global telecommunications giants including Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and China Mobile have forged an alliance in order to develop a software delivery platform capable of rivaling Apple’s App Store.
The collaboration, known as the Wholesale Applications Community, will unite 24 of the planet’s biggest mobile operators and will be supported by handset manufacturers Sony Ericsson, LG Electronics and Samsung.
Revealing the strategy at this week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, industry association GSMA said that the alliance would join up an otherwise fragmented industry and give these mobile operators access to more than three billion customers globally.
It also aims to give developers a single point of entry when distributing applications across a number of delivery platforms – a framework that does not currently exist. The first step will see all of the operators create a development and approval standard independent of handset brand or operating system.
“The alliance will seek to unite members’ developer communities and create a single, harmonised point of entry to make it easy for developers to join,” the GSMA wrote in a statement.
Other telecommunications companies taking part in the scheme include Orange, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Bharti Airtel.
Apple has benefited from huge success through its App Store, last month announcing that it had recorded more than three billion application downloads onto its iPhone and iPod Touch handsets during the previous 18 months.