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Mobile operators sign up for WAC's in-app billing platform

29 февраля 2012

The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC)'s plan to put mobile operators at the centre of the app market took a step forward on Tuesday after it launched the beta version of its in-app billing API (application programming interface), and signed up a raft of early telco adopters.

Nine companies including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, SK Telecom, KT Corp, and Smart Communications (see below for full list) have adopted the solution, which enables developers to generate revenue from their applications by charging users for virtual goods, or progression to a new area or level in a game. For users it means they can make purchases that are added to their phone bill with one click.

A browser-based client enables developers to manage their apps, including tools to set pricing in multiple currencies, and to select the operators' networks on which to make them available. A similar client enables customers to review their purchases and if necessary request a refund. In addition, both developers and users have access to a dedicated WAC contact centre.

"Announcing nine operators is a strong proof-point," said WAC chief executive Peters Suh.

He told Total Telecom on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress that to foster further developer support a number of the WAC's operator partners plan to host 'hackathons' throughout the course of the year with prizes for the best application.

"AT&T is hosting one in California in partnership with Facebook that will have a $20,000 prize," said Suh.

However, he admitted that the WAC has its work cut out if it wants to gain credibility and traction with developers in a market seemingly dominated by the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft, noting that the operator-owned initiative is still in its early stages.

"We're almost at day one", he said, noting that the WAC's adoption of HTML5 will enable it to drive momentum across a raft of different form factors, including smartphones and connected TVs.

When WAC launched in February 2010 GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair promised progress within 12 months. While the initiative is certainly inching forward, it is not moving as quickly as the stakeholders doubtless had hoped.

Источник: Total Telecom

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