The GSMA, three handset vendors, and 24 mobile operators have combined to create the Wholesale Application Community, a program that’s designed to create a uniform developer program and application set across multiple mobile operators.
The goal, in a business sense, is to build what’s equivalent to an over-the-top (OTT) framework that lets applications and developers span the crazy quilt of mobile operators and roaming agreements that form the current global mobile network.
Absent so far from the play are any of the network equipment vendors, and we’re not able at this point to get any information on just why that’s the case. It’s possible that there will be announcements at Mobile World Congress to position the network vendors. We believe that Alcatel-Lucent is already committed to embracing the GSMA APIs in its Open API program. The really interesting question will be what players like Oracle and Microsoft decide to do. Handset players are doing more to avoid fragmenting developer programs; Intel and Nokia have just announced they’ve merged their Linux mobile platforms.