Middle East telecom companies Zain and Nawras Telecom have expressed interest in the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) launched recently by 24 operators.
Alex Sinclair, CTO and Strategy Officer at GSMA, told Emirates Business: "There is a huge opportunity for operators and we are already seeing interest from Zain and Nawras. As we did not have time to inform operators globally, there are a lot more expected to come on board."
The 24 operators who have access to more than three billion customers around the world have the support of GSMA, the global telecom operators' body, and three of the world's leading device makers – LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. The alliance was formed to build an open platform that delivers applications to all mobile phone users.
The telecom operators in the group are; América Móvil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom austria group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone and Wind.
"This is not a regional initiative, therefore operators from across the globe will participate. In terms of the UAE, we haven't reached there yet, but it's just a matter of time," Sinclair said.
He said the Middle East has a "huge" potential for development of applications, which is becoming an integral part of the mobile entertainment segment.
"At least 20 per cent of the mobile entertainment revenue internationally comes from applications. It has exploded as a new category and everyone in the value chain wants to benefit," said Andrew Bud, Chairman of Mobile Entertainment Forum.
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