Total Telecoms: Firefox OS Removes Gatekeeper

News Article - Thursday, 28 February 2013 11:20

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

A report from Total Telecoms has welcomed the introduction of Mozilla’s new Firefox mobile operating system, saying that it will help the mobile market to break the stranglehold that just a few companies have on the sector.

Mozilla unveiled its new OS on Sunday at this year’s Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona this week.

The open source software company said at the time that it has support from 18 global mobile operators, including Telefonica and Deutche Telekom.

The Firefox OS is designed to run on lower spec devices than other, existing smartphone platforms and as such, it is thought that this will enable smartphones to be more affordable around the world.

It’s thought that mobile operators will also have a "greater opportunity to participate in the value chain and could break the stranglehold Apple and Google have on the market at present.”

"It's being unnaturally controlled by a few parties," said Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs on the eve of the Congress opening. He went on to say that the mobile market is evolving in a similar way to that of the internet about a decade ago.

An HTML5 device will "enable everyone around the world to participate in mobile," he continued." The Web itself is the ultimate leveller of the playing field."

Kovacs maintained that Firefox will make it easier for users to gain access to a wider variety of content and apps, saying that the current domination of iOS and Android was a broken model which needs to change.

"[We're] removing the gatekeeper," added Jay Sullivan, senior vice president of products at Mozilla.

He went on to explain that Firefox will allow developers to get their work "directly to consumers” and that there will be a Firefox app store, Marketplace, which will not be the only one. Some of these will be from mobile operators themselves, he said.

"It's going to provide a lot of flexibility for the operators," said Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, which is the sole provider of silicon for Firefox phones. "This is going to provide a very, very large ecosystem."

The first Firefox powered phones to hit the market will be from ZTE and Alcatel with Huawei and LG also thought to have committed to launching phones that use the new OS.

It’s thought that the initial devices will be launched in Poland by Deutche Telekom and Latin America by American Movil. More handsets are expected to follow quickly into central Europe and other countries.

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