Operator-led Wholesale Applications Community disbands as assets are sold to Apigee and the GSMA picks up what's left of the initiative

Michelle Donegan

July 17, 2012

2 Min Read
Wave Goodbye to WAC

The operator-backed Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) has sold off its technology assets and what's left of the initiative has been folded in to the GSM Association (GSMA) .

The alliance that had more than 60 mobile operator, handset vendor and software developer members was formed in February 2010 with the ambitious goal of creating an open platform for developing and distributing mobile and Internet apps for any device or network. (See MWC 2010: Operators Form WAC Pack for Apps Push and Mobile Operators Strike Back on Apps .)

Now, mobile application programming interface (API) vendor Apigee Corp. has acquired WAC's technology assets. These include a payment API that allows customers to pay for digital goods on their operator bills, as well as WAC's mobile app platform, called Web Run Time, that lets developers build apps that can run on all devices and networks.

According to Apigee, the WAC payment API has already been deployed by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), KT Corp. , LG Telecom , SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM), Smart Communications Inc. , Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), and it is in development with 12 other operators.

The WAC's Web Run Time has been enabled on 12 million devices and deployed by KT, LG, SK Telecom and Smart Communications.

In a separate announcement, the GSMA said that it will take over WAC's programs and initiatives while Apigee will offer WAC's network APIs and mobile app platforms as managed services to the GSMA and its operator members.

The GSMA said it will continue the development work on network APIs as well as a new app development platform that will be called Web Apps and will include support for HTML5.

Why this matters
While the WAC alliance had lofty and commendable goals, it appears to have been a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth -- the alliance started back in 2010 with no less than 24 operators. The effort has shown just how difficult it is to get so many operators working together. And the recent emergence of a new operator effort to establish a global mobile app store -- led by AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) -- was also an indication that WAC was not working as quickly as operators had planned or hoped.

For more

  • Developers Weigh In on WAC

  • Talking Smack on the WAC

  • Operators Have a WAC at Apps

  • WAC Beefs Up Its App Pack

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Michelle Donegan

Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry for the last 20 years on both sides of the Pond. Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and, most recently, Light Reading.  

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