Mobile operators Verizon Wireless, SK Telecom and France’s SFR are among the latest companies to pledge their commitment to the LiMo Foundation, the organisation behind the Linux mobile operating system (OS). Verizon Wireless yesterday confirmed reports it is to join the consortium as a ‘core’ member and fill the final seat on LiMo’s board of directors. In addition, it will launch its first entry-level Linux phone next year, moving onto smartphone and PDAs at a later date, reports the Washington Post. Kyle Malady, Verizon’s network vice-president, said in a conference call that, while the alliance with LiMo does not necessarily prevent the operator from launching handsets based on the rival Android platform (backed by Google), it would be “looking at [LiMo Linux] as the OS of choice in handset line-up moving forward.” ABI Research forecasts that nearly 20 percent of mid- and high-end handsets will run a Linux OS by 2013. Verizon’s rival US mobile operators, AT&T, Sprint-Nextel and T-Mobile, have all pledged their support for Android, according to the report.

Other new members of the LiMo Foundation include Infineon, Kvaleberg, Mozilla, Red Bend Software and Sagem Mobiles, expanding its membership to 40 since its launch in January 2007. reports that the organisation is planning to target the mobile enterprise space later in the year and that two major open source enterprise vendors will be joining the consortium soon.