The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), an alliance of telecommunications companies committed to building an open applications platform, today announced its formation as a corporate entity, as well as the organisation’s leadership and board of directors. The company also announced that it will join forces with the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL), accelerating the commercial launch of WAC-enabled application stores. The transaction is expected to be completed in September 2010. Finally, WAC outlined the business models and technology evolution path that will enable developers, operators and other commercial organisations to monetise applications and services.
Peters Suh has been named the CEO of the Wholesale Applications Community. Most recently Peters was the CEO of the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL), a joint venture between China Mobile, SOFTBANK MOBILE, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone. Prior to JIL, Peters held a number of executive positions at Vodafone, Fremont Communications and AirTouch.
“Today the Wholesale Applications Community comes into being as an established company, and this is a hugely exciting time for everyone involved in the organisation,” commented Suh. “Our goal is to create a wholesale applications ecosystem that will establish a simple route to market for developers to deliver the latest innovative applications and services to the widest possible base of customers around the world. We’re focused on establishing WAC as the first choice for brands and developers in the mobile ecosystem, ultimately delivering greater choice and value for the end user, the consumer.”
The company announced that Michel Combes, Vodafone Chief Executive Europe has been elected Chairman of the Wholesale Applications Community, and Jean-Philippe Vanot, Deputy CEO, France Telecom has been named as Vice Chairman.
In addition to Combes and Vanot, the WAC board of directors includes:
• John Donovan, CTO, AT&T
• Li Zhengmao, VP, China Mobile
• Olivier Baujard, CTO Deutsche Telekom
• Alex Sinclair, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, GSMA
• Dr Hyun-Myung PYO, President of Mobile Business Group, KT Corporation
• Dr Kiyohito Nagata, SVP, NTT DOCOMO
• Sung Min Ha, President Mobile Network Operation Business Unit, SK Telecom
• Napoleon Nazareno, President and CEO, Smart Communications
• Tetsuzo Matsumoto, Senior Executive Vice President, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp.
• Marco Patuano, Head of Domestic Market Operations, Telecom Italia
• Vivek Dev, Group Director of Global New Services, Telefónica
• Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO, Telekom Austria Group
• Morten-Karlsen Sorby, EVP and Head of Corporate Development, Telenor
• Dick Lynch, EVP and CTO, Verizon
Business Models to Enable Monetisation Across the Ecosystem
At launch, WAC will allow operators to distribute applications through their respective application storefronts and charge users through their existing phone bill. In this model, developers will set the application price and will receive a revenue share for the transaction. The revenue share will be defined on an operator-by-operator basis. This will ensure that revenue shares will be competitive in today’s application market. WAC is a not-for-profit organisation and will receive a small transaction fee for each application to cover its operating costs.
In the future, WAC will offer business models that enable additional purchases from within an application; leverage network capabilities, such as location, to enhance an application; and facilitate the serving of advertisements to end users.
“Developers will see great benefit in a single process through which they can create, distribute and profit from their applications on multiple retail outlets,” said John Delaney, Research Director for Consumer Mobile with industry analysts IDC. “Unification with JIL will prove a significant boost for the Wholesale Application Community’s efforts to achieve a global, open development platform.”
WAC Specification and SDK Available in November
WAC will publish its initial specification and components of its SDK to developers in November. This specification will be based on W3C standards and create a strong platform for developing rich mobile web applications. WAC will also provide backwards compatibility for devices based upon the current JIL and BONDI specifications. Details of the developer roadmap and a preview of the WAC specifications will be available in September.
Developers currently creating JIL applications can continue working with the existing JIL specification, tools and software libraries and these applications can be deployed on JIL based devices immediately. With the publication of the WAC specification, developers will also have a clear path to deploy applications on a wider range of devices supporting the WAC specification in 2011.
“Today’s announcement that we are bringing together the innovation and leadership of WAC and JIL to form a combined entity marks a great step forward in our goal to provide a truly unified and open applications environment,” said Michel Combes, Chairman of the Wholesale Applications Community. “I am honoured to have been elected chairman of WAC and look forward to serving with our distinguished board and company leadership to turn this vision into reality.”