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Ericsson calls on carriers to out-app-store Google

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OpenMobileSummit Ericsson senior vp Jan Uddenfeldt has called on the wireless industry to build its own "horizontal" mobile app stores that span operating systems and devices.

Speaking this morning at an open-happy mobile conference in downtown San Francisco, Uddenfeldt hailed Google's momentum-building Android setup, but he urged carriers to move beyond Android's device-spanning app marketplace - not to mention the iPhone App Store. "[Android] is a step in the right direction, but we think that we have to go even further to get applications across different devices," he said.

"We think it's very important when it comes to the application store, carriers need to launch their own - and this is happening all over the world. We need to scale it beyond vertical [stores]...If the operators are involved, we can really scale it."

Over the summer, the company unveiled a kind of app store framework that carriers can then customize to suit myriad devices and operating systems. Today, Uddenfeldt said the framework - which can be installed locally but is also available as a hosted service - is already in use at unnamed carriers across the globe

It's not used at T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile chief technology officer Cole Brodman took the stage just before Uddenfeldt to say that the country's third-largest carrier is preparing to launch not an app store but its own "channel" within Google's Android Marketplace. At another mobile-obsessed San Francisco conference this summer, Brodman said - in no uncertain terms - that T-Mobile USA would not launch its own app storefront.

Part of the Google-driven Open Handset Alliance, T-Mobile was the first to launch a Googlephone, and clearly, it's sticking with Mountain View's Android vision. In contrast, the country's largest carrier, Verizon, was much later to the Android game, and it's expected to launch its own app store by the end of the year

Later this morning, however, sitting on a panel with Uddenfeldt, T-Mobile's Broadman did say that the carrier hopes to find some way of reducing the confusion bound to arise from myriad "vertical" app stores. ®

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