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Telecom Giants Team Up To Challenge Apple

BARCELONA, Spain (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Twenty-four leading telecommunications operators, including AT&T, Telefónica, Sprint, Airtel and Verizon, have teamed up to form Wholesale Applications Community, an alliance to build an open platform that delivers applications to all mobile phone users, regardless of manufacturer.

Together, these operators have access to an aggregate of more than three billion customers around the world. The GSMA, a mobile telecom industry trade association and three of the world's largest device manufacturers – LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson – also support this initiative. The alliance hopes to field an app delivery platform that will challenge Apple's App Store, currently the dominant player in the market.

Unsurprisingly, Apple's App Store provides applications only for Apple's iPhone and iPod products and all applications sold through the app store are subject to Apple's sometimes restrictive policies. Applications have been blocked from sale in the past for a variety of reasons, including for what Apple deems as 'objectionable content.'

"The GSMA is fully supportive the Wholesale Applications Community, which will build a new, open ecosystem to spur the creation of applications that can be used regardless of device, operating system or operator," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board, GSMA. "This approach is completely in line with the principles of the GSMA, and in fact leverages the work we have already undertaken on open network APIs (OneAPI). This is tremendously exciting news for our industry and will serve to catalyse the development of a range of innovative cross-device, cross-operator applications." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers