MWC 2011: WACky Times in Barcelona

4:20 AM -- BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2011 -- If there was just one message that the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) wanted to convey on Monday here at Mobile World Congress, it's that its members believe the initiative is a very big deal and that they are really quite pleased with themselves about achieving the commercial launch in just one year.

Just look at the top brass from operators, vendors and device makers who were present at the WAC press conference to announce the launch of the platform:

  • Randall Stephenson, chairman, CEO and president, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)
  • Hans Vestberg, president and CEO, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)
  • Jean-Philippe Vanot, deputy CEO, Orange (NYSE: FTE) and vice chairman, WAC
  • JK Shin, president, Mobile Division, Samsung Corp.
  • Julio Linares, COO, Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)
  • Michel Combes, CEO Europe Region, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and chairman, WAC

Strikingly absent, however, were the application developers.

The commercial launch of WAC was accompanied by the introduction of the first WAC-powered app stores, compatible handsets and Web applications. The group also said that the next version, WAC 2.0, is available now and that it supports HTML5 Web applications.

The next big development for WAC will be the 3.0 version that will be available in September this year. WAC 3.0 will support HTML5 as well as offer developers access to network application programming interfaces (APIs), such as billing and user authentication.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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