Orange and O2 involved in EU funded mobile cloud project

Mobile operators Orange and O2 have revealed their involvement in a three-year programme to develop cloud-based mobile applications across the EU.

The initiative, labelled Project Optimis, has received funding of €7 million from the EU's giant Seventh Framework Programme--the largest funding and research programme in the world with an ICT element of €1.2 billion.

The project, which also includes Ericsson, Nokia, Atos Origin, BT and SAP, will be based on software developed by Flexiant that is designed to fit over a hosting platform, offering users a flexible and scalable cloud computing service.

According to Flexiant founder Tony Lucas, the company was requested by the main organiser of the initiative, Telefónica, to provide part of the infrastructure service used by the project.

"We are trying to build a configurable, flexible platform-as-a-service layer that would fit on top of the multiple infrastructures of service providers. This would allow them to build scalable applications," said Lucas.

The EU said that Optimis is targeted at providing organisations with the capability of working beyond the inbuilt limitations of their local cloud capacity by allowing workloads to be moved between public and/or private clouds.

However, this move is seen by some observers as an attempt by the EU to develop an infrastructure to enable the European companies to compete with the US, which currently offers more advanced cloud services.

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