“China Mobile, Softbank and Vodafone have agreed to establish a Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) to promote the development of new mobile technologies, applications and services. The three companies expect the initiative will help to accelerate the commercial deployment of mobile internet services.
The three companies will use the JIL as a platform to develop mobile services and drive innovation and synergy in the industry to the benefit of their combined global customer base. The JIL will launch projects based on emerging technologies and market demand.
The JIL will focus on the rapidly growing areas of mobile internet services, such as mobile widgets. Initially, the JIL plans to develop a platform for mobile widgets to encourage the development of innovative new services that can leverage mobile operators’ unique capabilities.
This move is expected to enable different widgets and applications to run seamlessly on different handset platforms and operating systems across different mobile operators, while safeguarding customer security, data privacy and billing systems. The development of a widget platform is expected to benefit both developers and users. The JIL also welcomes the co-operation of vendors and developers in the creation of new applications and services.”
Marc Laperrouza (of LIFT) comments:
“So is this the signal that the two operators are finally coming out of the woods and prepared to use their huge subscriber base to drive the future of the mobile industry? For sure, cooperation will be useful to speed the roll-out of mobile internet services. It will also allow them to better face the upcoming battle with Google and Yahoo – who are also keen to occupy the mobile space. It is also interesting for China Mobile – and China in general – since it will be one of the first attempt to approach standardization in a bottom-up fashion – from the market – rather than top-down – from the government. We may be witnessing China Mobileâ€™s first steps into becoming a global mobile operatorâ€¦”