Strong launch with major operators welcoming the Open Web initiative
Mozilla has previewed the first commercial build of its Firefox OS open mobile ecosystem and announced new operator rollout plans.
The breadth of operators now backing Mozilla's Firefox OS demonstrates strong industry support for a fully adaptable, unconstrained mobile platform, Mozilla claimed. To date, 17 key operators spanning the globe have committed to the open web device initiative: América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom.
Firefox OS smartphones are the first built entirely to open web standards, enabling every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application. Web apps access every underlying capability of the device, bypassing the typical hindrances of HTML5 on mobile to deliver substantial performance. The platform's flexibility allows carriers to easily tailor the interface and develop localized services that match the unique needs of their customer base.
Mozilla is working with manufacturers Alcatel (TCL), LG and ZTE to build the first Firefox OS devices, with Huawei to follow later in the year, all powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors. In addition, Mozilla has signed strategic relationships with key content and service partners. Consumers will get a dynamic, rich and open smartphone experience that provides easy access to everything they love on the Web, including Facebook and Twitter integration, with a simple, fast interface and built-in cost controls.
The first wave of Firefox OS devices will be available to consumers in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela. Additional markets will be announced soon.
'Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere,' said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla. 'With the support of our vibrant community and dedicated partners, our goal is to level the playing field and usher in an explosion of content and services that will meet the diverse needs of the next two billion people online.'
Initial first wave launch plans were announced by América Móvil, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Telenor, most seeing starts mid-year.
Operators were enthusiastic about the launch; Cesar Alierta, Chairman & CEO of Telefonica, stated: '2013 marks the start of a new phase in our industry, one that will be characterized by open standards. For Telefonica and the telco sector as a whole, Firefox OS is a hugely important strategic initiative to change the prevailing value chain in the digital world. It is a major step to bring balance back to the telco sector, an initiative with strong cross-industry support. I am very pleased that our customers in Brazil, Colombia, Spain and Venezuela will be amongst the first in the world to experience Firefox OS and I look forward to making it available to all Telefonica customers globally.'
While René Obermann, Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Telekom, commented: 'Partnerships are an important method in paving the way for innovations. We rely on open platforms because we want to create freedom of choice on behalf of our customers. That's why we support Mozilla in developing an innovative and open standard for mobile terminals. The launch of the first smartphone in Europe with the new Firefox operating system is an important step on the way to more competition between the different ecosystems.'