Feeds

Canonical unveils Carrier Advisory Group for Ubuntu phones

Eight possible launch partners already signed on

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, has announced the formation of a Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) to help advocate for the open source OS as a smartphone platform.

Ubuntu developers have been hard at work in recent months, with the goal of transforming the OS from a desktop Linux distro to a multi-device platform for use on everything from PCs and laptops to phones, tablets, and smart TVs.

Progress so far has been slow – Ubuntu phones only gained cellular data access a couple of weeks ago, and their features remain minimal – but Canonical has promised to get the first production Ubuntu handsets into customers' hands in 2014.

To that end, the CAG will hold regular meetings to discuss such issues as device differentiation, HTML5 standards, marketplaces for apps and content, revenue-share models, payment systems, platform fragmentation, and market segments and positioning, Canonical said in a statement on Tuesday.

"While Ubuntu has gained tremendous traction in both cloud and PC environments, we recognise the complex dynamics of the mobile market," said Ubuntu main man Mark Shuttleworth, "and so the CAG allows us to draw on the insights and support of such a thoughtful and experienced group of industry partners."

The partners gain something from participating in the CAG, too. CAG members will get exclusive early access to information about Ubuntu development and device manufacturer plans, and only CAG members will be eligible to participate as launch partners when the final version of Ubuntu for smartphones ships.

The carriers that have signed on so far include Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, and – curiously enough – "the leading Spanish international carrier."

Why Canonical has not named that last member isn't clear, but it seems logical for it to be Telefónica, which has also been working with Mozilla to launch Firefox OS phones in Latin America. The Spanish telecom giant is widely rumored to be a takeover target, however – could that have anything to do with the Spanish CAG anonymity?

Notably absent from the list are the major US carriers – with the possible exception of Deutsche Telekom, which operates fourth-ranked US carrier T-Mobile, among various other properties worldwide.

Canonical says it has extended invitations to join the CAG to "any national or multinational carrier who wishes to join." Carriers that are toying with the idea of offering Ubuntu phones should act quickly, however. Canonical says it plans to close the CAG to new members by the end of July. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.