Telefónica: Going Solo?

12:40 PM Is Telefónica giving up on mobile apps industry initiatives?

March 28, 2011

2 Min Read
Telefónica: Going Solo?

12:40 PM -- The news today that Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) have teamed up to target a sub-section of the applications development community will prompt questions about the Spanish giant's commitment to industry-wide initiatives such as the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC). (See Microsoft Gives Telefónica an Apps Edge .)

So, has Telefónica decided to go it alone and abandon its WAC stablemates? (See WAC Adds 10 to its Pack , MWC 2011: WACky Times in Barcelona and MWC 2010: Operators Form WAC Pack for Apps Push.)

No, says José Valles, the head of BlueVia, Telefónica's developer community initiative. Valles is the Spanish operator's WAC representative, and says the carrier is still committed to that collaborative process and to the OneAPI developments that focus on the creation of standardized APIs that will enable applications to run across multiple operator networks.


"We need to try things to see if they fly," Valles tells Light Reading. "We are keen on standardization, but if we wait [for that process to be completed] we could be waiting forever. We think that if we are successful with this [partnership with Microsoft] other operators will follow," adds Valles.

There's no doubt that operators can't sit on their hands and wait for across-the-board agreements, and it's very possible what Telefónica is doing with Microsoft could provide useful feedback to the WAC community.

Of course, Telefónica's move, and sentiments, could also kick-start a series of unilateral carrier relationships that could create templates, models and even de facto API and SDK standards that could ultimately render WAC irrelevant.

The market will decide. In the meantime, both Telefónica and Microsoft will be praying that their joint efforts with the .NET developer community don't join the growing list of failed efforts to create a meaningful bond between the telecom operators and the development community at large. There are signs (including firsthand testimony from developers that Telefónica has the right approach), though, that the Spanish giant may have developed a model that shouldn't fail at the very first step (attracting developer interest).

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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