Mobile operators are considering their own OS to wrestle control away from handset manufacturers?

According to IntoMobile, a group of European mobile operators have concluded that iOS, Android and other such operating system are "trojan horse" that are stealing away the operator's direct relationship with their customers, and therefore vast revenues.

They are apparently planning to meet in early October to discuss the problem. …

One of their proposed solutions is to build a new operating system, but the vast majority of phones sold today are feature phones, not smartphones. Would their new OS be able to scale and run on anything from lower-end feature phones to advanced smarthones?

Operators will in all likelyhood be "stuck" with multiple operating systems in the foreseeable future, so creating their own is only going to cause more fragmentation, if anything.

The keys here seem to be cross-platform and cross-device applications and services. Right now, you get either Apple's applications and services, or Google's. But what if you could build apps and services that worked across just about all platforms?

Well, you can. And the technologies to do this are known as "web technologies". These web technologies can be used to deploy applications and services on a wide range of devices and platforms, including low-end ones. Using Opera Mini Widgets, you can even reach some of the most primitive phones on the market with applications and services. As a matter of fact, operators worldwide have already come together to form the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC). I think this is a much better approach than a completely new operating system.

And it just so happens that Opera has services and solutions that cover the entire spectrum of the market, from low-end phones to the latest and greatest smartphones. Those services and solutions use open web standards, which means lower development costs, better cross-platform compatibility, and shorter time to market. We've even got AdMarvel to generate revenue.

A new operating system is probably not the solution if operators want to maintain their position. The key here is to be able to deploy the same applications and services across any platform.

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11 thoughts on “Mobile operators are considering their own OS to wrestle control away from handset manufacturers?

  1. This atitude of the mobile operators is similar to a broadband operator telling which operating system you must use on your computer.This is totaly nonsense! The mobile operator is contracted to provide telephony service and internet connection, the handset's operating system is a responsibility of the manufacturer.

  2. "Right now, you get either Apple's applications and services, or Google's."Or the ones from the biggest manufacturer by far, those Finnish guys who appears to be ignored by everyone else in the industry.Other than that, good article and I agree on the conclusion. This proposal will certainly not serve customers, perhaps not even the operators. I prefer being able to easily switch operator. If I have to switch the OS too, or even the phone, that's a no go.

  3. Sounds to me like Haavard is saying the operators want to "get together and make ONE new operating system". The operators desperately wish ARM had its own Windows-equivalent, so programs could be rapidly developed in native code, and for a single unified API.Perhaps the Operators may actually want something like Meego, but ChromeOS and Android are too closely tied to Google.

  4. This sounds like bad news for consumers because the mobile operators here in South Africa are already killing the joy with poor service.

  5. I thought most operators in Africa used basic Chinese phones with embedded OS and no customization options…?

  6. I don't know about the rest of Africa, but here in South Africa we have 3G and the availability of smart phones. :left:.Although they've been trying to recycle older model Blackberry lookalikes lately. :awww:.There's tons of cheap chinese phones available in the independent sellers, but the officiall Vodashops and MTN stores don't stock those brown goods. :left:.

  7. So it's more about income bracket? But the recent press release about Mini being embedded in the firmware of commodity phone circuitry, gives me hope that even very cheap Chinese phones will be running the browser soon.

  8. The 'cheap' chinese phones are cheap because they avoid any royalty generating software. :left:.They don't run java based apps because the manufacturers won't pay for the licence that Sun Microsystems insist on. That, more than anything else, is the reason they can't run Operamini. :awww:.Having said that, chinese phones are not that popular in my neighbourhood. Most people get their phones directly from the Network's licenced outlets because getting settings for a third-party import is close to impossible. :rolleyes:.Networks don't actually tell you what the settings are, they send them OTA, which is only possible for a phone that's registered in their database. :left:.So only someone as stubborn as I am has any chance of getting a third-party phone to work with gprs/UMTS on our Networks.. :p!Of course, almost all phones are actually manufactured in China these days, even if they are technically made by a non-Chinese company. :rolleyes:.

  9. Yep. There was just something about firmware integration in a recent press release; perhaps this may involve a minimal ARM-native Mini hardcoded in, royalty-free for the OEM but pulling a royalty from the mobile operator? Super-cheap phones with the ability to sell data add-on plans. Everybody wins…?

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