Plan for common phone-app standard

In a move clearly aimed at breaking Apple’s dominance of the phone-app market, 24 telecommunications operators have formed an alliance to develop a common standard that will ensure developers can create applications that port across many different mobile devices.

For customers, the initiative will mean a broader choice of applications and services available on a wider choice of handsets than ever before.

América Móvil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom austria group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone and Wind have all signed up to the alliance.

Together, these operators have access to more than three billion customers around the world.

The GSMA, the industry body that represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry, and three of the world’s largest device manufacturers – LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson – are also behind the new initiative.

In the immediate future, the alliance will seek to unite members’ developer communities and create a single, harmonised point of entry to make it easy for developers to join.

The alliance is open to all relevant parties – from telecommunications operators and device manufacturers to internet service providers and application software developers.