WAC folded into GSMA, technology assets sold to Apigee
The GSMA will integrate programs and initiatives spearheaded by the Wholesale Applications Community, the mobile industry association formed to streamline mobile software development and cross-operator distribution. In conjunction with the agreement, application programming interface services firm Apigee has acquired the WAC's technology assets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
More than two dozen operators and manufacturers including Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) joined forces to launch the WAC in early 2010, vowing to unite the fragmented mobile marketplace by giving developers the tools to write software that can be deployed across multiple operating systems, handsets and carrier networks. Its WAC Web Run Time client is now enabled on approximately 12 million devices. In February 2012, the WAC also rolled out its in-application billing network API to nine mobile operators, offering subscribers a secure, one-click method to charge digital goods purchases directly to their monthly bill.
Apigee said it will build on the WAC technologies to deliver a unified network API service for operators alongside a cross-device mobile app development platform. Apigee CEO Chet Kapoor told TechCrunch the firm will continue developing the WAC's billing API, which is based on Apigee technology. Apigee also will continue working on the WAC Web Run Time: "It's a noble cause, but it needs to be clear what purpose it serves," Kapoor said. "There is a certain set of operators that are very interested in the Web runtime. We're going to work on converting it to HTML5 and making it more relevant to what developers are doing today."
Carriers including AT&T, KT, Telefonica, Telenor and Vodafone have already adopted Apigee's API platform. The company also provides technology and services to partners including eBay, Netflix and Gilt Groupe.
The GSMA, which represents close to 800 operators spanning more than 220 countries, said it will seek to scale the WAC effort across its international ranks. The GSMA also will absorb the WAC staff.
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