The Wholesale Applications Community, a global group of wireless industry players headed by the world's biggest operators, said its application value chain will be up and running in time for next year's Mobile World Congress trade show in February. The ultimate goal of the group is to ensure wireless operators get a cut of the revenues generated by the sale of applications to mobile users.
Though the WAC did provide a rough timeline of its planned activities for the next few months, the group didn't provide much else in the way of specifics. Major outstanding questions include:
- Whether applications submitted through the group will be available via application storefronts like Apple's App Store or Google's Android Marketplace.
- What percent of application revenues will be allocated to developers.
- And whether major platform vendors like Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Google, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will participate in the effort.
Nonetheless, WAC proponents continue to promise the push will result in success: "It's going to create a lot more choice for a lot more people," including consumers and developers, proclaimed Tim Raby, the WAC's acting CEO and managing director of the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (which is working in concert with WAC).
As for the timeline, in July the group plans to form a not-for-profit company to oversee WAC operations and, more importantly, it will provide business model details including the revenue share for developers and app store owners. In September the group will publish materials and documentation for developers, in November it will hold its first developer event, and in February of 2011 it will "open for business at Mobile World Congress."
Major U.S. operators AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T), Sprint Nextel (NASDAQ: S), Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and T-Mobile USA are listed as WAC members, as are Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG--though none of the major platform providers like RIM or Google is yet participating. WAC executives said announcements about additional members could be made in July.
WAC's Raby explained that the group hopes to provide a single entrance for applications that can work across the networks of the group's two dozen participating operators.
- see the WAC timeline
- see this GigaOM article
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