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OMTP opens up to new members

But some members are more equal than others?

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Updated The Open Mobile Terminal Platform chose the day before Christmas Eve to announce five new members from the mobile industry, despite the fact that previously one had to be a network operator to hold "member" status.

The new members are all involved in mobile development: Purple Labs, Nexperience, Huawei, Comverse and Communology all have excellent mobile credentials. But until now the OMTP has only counted network operators as "members", while everyone else is relegated to the status of "adviser": excepting Nokia and Sony Ericsson who hold the vaulted status of "sponsors".

The organisation was originally set up with the aim of consolidating the device specifications that every operator provides to manufacturers - these are huge documents that are almost identical, but phrased differently and with subtly different focus depending on the operator. In that context it makes sense that membership is only open to network operators, and the broadening of membership could indicate a change of direction.

But it could equally well be a typo in the release - the five companies could just be paying to become advisers to the group, rather than "members", though the text seems pretty unequivocal:

OMTP today announced that five leading organisations... have become members of the mobile operator led terminal recommendations organisation.

We tried to contact the OMTP's PR agency, the Chief Marketing Officer and the chair, but no one is answering their phone right now despite the fact that the release was sent out last night, which could draw theories of conspiracy. But we'll reserve judgement until some clarification is forthcoming, and will let you know once we hear from the group.®

Update: Tim Raby, Chair of the OMTP, has been on the phone to put our minds at rest - the new members are "advisers", so won't be allowed into the operators-only club.

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