The GSMA gave an update to media and analysts this week on its Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) initiative that was announced back in February.
As promised, the WAC is now a full-fledged corporate entity, complete with a newly appointed CEO, Peters Suh, who most recently was CEO of the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL), a joint venture between China Mobile, Softbank Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. In fact, the WAC is joining forces with JIL to accelerate the commercial launch of its application stores.
WAC interim CEO Tim Raby explained how the WAC will work when it debuts at the next Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona next February. At launch, operators will distribute applications through their respective storefronts and charge users through their existing phone bill, with other billing methods likely to follow.
Developers will set the price of their applications, whether free or for a charge, and will receive a revenue share for the transaction. They also will be in charge of deciding which territories or retail stores they want to launch with.
WAC isn’t setting a standard revenue share because it wants to encourage competition between storefronts, Raby said. Plus, revenue shares will vary substantially based on geographic regions, and if one revenue share were set, it would have to be based on the lowest common denominator, which would result in less revenue for developers. Revenue share models will be determined on an operator-by-operator basis.
WAC will publish its initial specification and components of its SDK to developers in November. The specification will be based on W3C standards. WAC also will provide backwards compatibility for devices based on the current JIL and BONDI specifications. Details of the developer roadmap and a preview of the WAC specifications will be available in September.
Goals of the WAC include accelerating the market for applications, simplifying the process for developers to deploy across multiple platforms and providing greater choices for consumers.
Among those named to the WAC Board of Directors are John Donovan, CTO at AT&T, and Dick Lynch, executive vice president and CTO at Verizon. T-Mobile USA is represented via Olivier Baujard, CTO of parent company Deutsche Telekom.