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Global telecoms closer to offering open mobile app platform

Major telecoms, including Korea’s KT Corp. and SK Telecom, have moved a step closer to commercializing an open mobile applications platform established by a multinational alliance of telecoms and device manufacturers.

At the global mobile industry show which launched in Barcelona Monday, local mobile carriers KT and SKT demonstrated some of their to-be-commercialized applications that follow the global alliance’s standardized format.
A model introduces the Wholesale Application Community platform at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (SK Telecom)
A model introduces the Wholesale Application Community platform at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (SK Telecom)

SKT demonstrated its “mobile pizza service” that enables telecoms to give user authorization. This means that people can order their pizza without having to give out their private information, such as their address, or log-in when using the service from the mobile application.

SKT’s rival KT also showed how the mobile applications could be downloaded through their current apps store called “Olleh Market” in a joint effort with LG Electronics.
Models demonstrate LG Electronics’ Long-Term Evolution-based mobile phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (LG Electronics)
Models demonstrate LG Electronics’ Long-Term Evolution-based mobile phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (LG Electronics)

“We will work further towards allowing our capable developers around the world to more easily reach out to people without any boundaries and stabilizing WAC in the market,” said Pyo Hyun-myung, president of KT’s mobile business group.

The events take place a year after the Wholesale Applications Community was initiated during the Mobile World Congress last February.

Since then, it announced its formation as a corporate entity last July and now it has 61 participating firms, including 27 telecoms and device manufacturers such as Samsung and LG Electronics, as of January, according to SKT officials.

Some of its members include internationally recognized telecoms like AT&T in the U.S., Orange in France and NTT DoCoMo in Japan. KT and SKT are participating in the group as board members.

While the group raised concerns surrounding its effectiveness, it aimed to target more than 3 billion users by simplifying application development and deploying them across multiple platforms and operators.

K-WAC, or Korea WAC, which is the country group of the multinational alliance, said it has selected WAC 2.0 as the standardized format for their mobile applications and plans on commercializing the standardized apps in May.

The linkage between K-WAC and WAC is expected to be available sometime in July-September, according to its officials.

“Devices and contents will achieve joint growth in the future mobile market. We will make utmost efforts to construct a mobile eco-system with our technologies which could boost the user experience in the global apps store,” said Park Jong-seok, chief of the mobile communications company at LG Electronics.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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