WAC Beefs Up Its App Pack

The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) is focusing on strength in numbers as it has added 32 new companies, including 11 wireless operators, vendors, and hardware manufacturers, to its applications initiative. (See WAC Gets New Members.)

In addition, the WAC 1.0 specifications are now available following the completion of its merger with Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) earlier this month. The new specs will be based on JIL 1.1.2.

The WAC's new members include:

The operators and those companies joining at the board member level will be involved with driving strategy for the WAC and will be able to launch WAC-enabled storefronts, although board members won't have voting rights. The rest of the group's members will be involved with the consortium's working groups and will get access to WAC documents, specs, and code.

With today's new members, the WAC's total is up to 48 companies banding together to simplify and speed up app development, increase choice, ease fragmentation concerns, revamp the business model, and better compete against giants Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). (See Mobile Operators Strike Back on Apps , MWC 2010: Operators Form WAC Pack for Apps Push, and App Insights: DT Wages an App Attack.)

WAC specs and skeptics
Along with the bevy of new members, WAC announced it completed the purchase of JIL on October 1 and will open up specs based on the newly merged groups to the developer community. The WAC believes that by using Web-based standards, as well as borrowing from the Open Mobile Terminal Platform Ltd. (OMTP) and the GSM Association (GSMA) 's OneAPI program, developers will be able to reach a larger swatch of devices.

They will also be able to tap network APIs thanks to the operators' involvement.

Of course, the WAC has its fair share of skeptics who question if a group of that size and history can work together to make a dent in a market where sexier platforms like Android and iOS steal much of developers' attention. The WAC is hoping that its growing scale and a revenue-sharing model weighted heavily towards developers will change their mind. (See Developers Weigh In on WAC and Operators Have a WAC at Apps .)

WAC's specs come out ahead of a scheduled November launch as it plans to be fully operational by February's Mobile World Congress show.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:21:05 PM
re: WAC Beefs Up Its App Pack

We checked with WAC for an explanation about their member numbers because when the WAC Pack was first announced in February this year, the new group said it was formed with 24 operators. So, now WAC says it has added 32 new companies and has a total of 48 members?? 

A WAC spokesman insists that the group hasn't lost members. He said that when WAC officially launched, it actually had 16 official members. The original 24 were those companies backing the idea, but not all of them have signed up to the program yet. 


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