Feeds

Wouldbe Apple App Store killer WAC disappears into GSMA

The Once and Future best hope of the networks

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Wholesale Applications Community has been voluntarily subsumed by the GSMA, selling off its technology and giving up its independence. The app store which never was will now never be.

The technology owned by the WAC, a platform-independent JavaScript-based runtime and a billing API with hooks into various network operators, goes to Apigee who already host services for the GSMA - so developers can continue to use them. Overcall control of the WAC goes to the GSMA and the organisation which once hoped to take on Apple ceases to exist as an independent entity.

Back in 2010 the WAC was established to provide an application platform, and an app store, under the control of the network operators. The organisation was formed from the Vodafone/China Mobile Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) and the OMTP's BONDI project, and had the public backing of all the significant network operators as well as the handset manufacturers necessary to make it happen.

But that public backing wasn't reflected in investment of resources or money, and infighting has dogged the organisation since its formation as intensely-political telcom executives replaced the engineers who'd set up the OMTP*, and the JIL, with the intention of creating a technical solution to a business problem.

Despite proudly showing a working clock on a Samsung Bada handset the WAC runtime was never widely adopted, so the focus changed to provide APIs for interacting with the hosting network, primarily the billing system, using the GSMAs JSON-based OneAPI.

That approach gained some support: operators already deploying the OneAPI could add WAC support with minimal effort, enabling mobile applications of all kinds (from web sites to native apps) to trigger billing events with the network operator. The WAC provided a pretty interface for developers, while the GSMA ensured the back ends all worked together.

But that also left the WAC thinner than ever, so thin that it has now vanished entirely. The GSMA is making noises about "an exciting new opportunity" and "accelerat[ing] the mobile applications market", but it's hard to see how the GSMA is going to attract the developers the WAC failed to seduce.

The WAC's APIs are being used, if not in large numbers, and the existing platforms will be maintained for the foreseeable future so there's no immediate change. But if in a year or two the WAC quietly disappears beneath the folds of the GSMA it's unlikely many people will notice, or mourn its passing. ®

*Your correspondent was one of those engineers, though titled an executive at the time.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
iPhone 6 shunned by fanbois in Apple's GREAT FAIL of CHINA
Just 100 Beijing fanbois queue to pick up new mobe
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.