BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile World Congress -- Mozilla today previewed the first commercial build of its Firefox OS open mobile ecosystem and announced new operator rollout plans at a press conference before the start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. 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.
To date, 17 key operators spanning the globe have committed to the open web device initiative: America Movil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom. Telstra is welcoming the Mozilla initiative as an opportunity to deliver an innovative mobile Web experience to their customers. The breadth of operators now backing Mozilla's Firefox OS demonstrates significant industry support for a fully-adaptable, unconstrained mobile platform.
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 (see separate release). 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.
"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 America Movil, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Telenor, most seeing starts mid-year. More information on the rollout plans for individual operators is included below.
"America Movil supports the launch of the new operating system by Mozilla since it represents an excellent alternative to its customers, especially in emerging markets. An open platform based on Web standards provides a favorable ecosystem for the development of innumerable applications," said Marco Quatorze, CMO of America Movil. "The company is committed to launch Firefox OS phones in Mexico and all possible markets during 2013."
"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," said Rene Obermann, Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Telekom at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. "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."
Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Chief Executive Officer at the Etisalat Group said: "We are happy to be part of this innovation and to support Mozilla in the launch of this new operating system. Firefox OS smartphones will make a valuable addition to our portfolio and grant our customers a rich and personalized experience. We welcome this development and congratulate Mozilla on their progress."
Hutchison Three Group
"Hutchison Three Group is supportive of the Mozilla initiative to provide an open approach to services for operators and to provide devices for entry-level smartphone users at a more affordable price," said Christian Salbaing, Deputy Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Europe. "We believe the introduction of Firefox to mobile devices will increase competition in operating systems, improve consumer choice and hopefully lower overall device costs, bringing smartphones and advanced services within the reach of more of our customers."
"We are pleased to announce the introduction of Firefox OS smartphones into the Japan market in one or two years' time," said Takashi Tanaka, CEO of KDDI. "It is expected to provide better experience and diverse choice to our customers, since an open standard Web platform will bring sustainable innovation and fair competition to its ecosystem. The idea totally fits to our strategy. To support the achievement of it, KDDI group is working closely with Mozilla for the sake of contribution to Firefox OS development, especially on network and security parts."
Dr. Suk-Chae Lee, CEO of KT, stated that "with the transformation of existing network to All-IP, all kinds of information and services such as voice, data, and media will be provided through the All-IP network. Firefox OS includes HTML5, which enables much easier and simpler support for All-IP based services via multiple devices and platforms. KT fully supports the Firefox OS initiative which will accelerate the distribution of virtual goods - the future growth engine of our global economy."
"We see a positive sign for the whole industry when it comes to a new player guided by the principles of openness, cross-platform possibility and supported by market players," said Vitaly Starodubov, COO of MegaLabs.
Paul O'Sullivan, CEO Group Consumer, SingTel, said: "SingTel is a firm believer in giving our customers choice and encouraging innovation and so are excited about the capabilities that can arise from an open mobile ecosystem using HTML5."
Orlando B. Vea, Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart said, "We're excited to see Firefox OS in the market because this will help bridge the digital divide. Its HTML5-based technology will make available affordable mobile devices with an open mobile ecosystem. This is aligned with our inclusive vision of putting mobile Internet in the hands of every customer."
"Sprint supports an open mobile ecosystem that enables freedom and creativity for developers," said Fared Adib, senior vice president, product development and operations for Sprint. "Firefox OS provides a new level of flexibility for developers to create innovative apps our customers can enjoy."
"2013 marks the start of a new phase in our industry, one that will be characterized by open standards," said Cesar Alierta, Chairman & CEO of Telefonica. "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."
"Telenor is pleased to partner with Mozilla and other major players in developing the Firefox mobile operating system. Through this initiative we aim to provide an even larger part of our customers with more choice and a great mobile Internet experience, as well as help connect the next billions of customers to the Web," said Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
"TMN is constantly searching for the best available options in the market, continuously focusing on future proof bets, which can provide new ways to achieve higher customer satisfaction and seamless integration of services. TMN´s association with Mozilla to launch the new Firefox OS is of great importance to the Portuguese telecom market, as it increases the number of platforms, user interfaces and ecosystems available to mobile equipment users," said Luis Avelar, CMO from Portugal Telecom Group.
"The majority of our customers live in emerging markets and their demand for mobile Internet access and OTT applications is rapidly accelerating," said Jo Lunder, CEO of Vimpelcom. "At VimpelCom we want to drive seamless integration between OTT and our core mobile services. We support the development of open standards and it is only natural that we support the development of the Firefox OS - one of the most economical alternative smartphone operating systems."
"Qualcomm has been working closely with Mozilla to optimize Firefox OS to our Snapdragon processors," said Cristiano Amon, Executive Vice President, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Co-President, Qualcomm Mobile and Computing. "This tight integration of software and hardware has allowed us to provide a rich HTML5 Web experience never seen before on a mobile device."
"The impressive lineup of operators who have now pledged to distribute Firefox OS devices speaks clearly and powerfully to the platform's potential and points to 2013 being a breakout year for Mozilla in the mobile domain," said John Jackson, Research Vice President for IDC. "The diversity of operator support, spanning both developed and emerging markets, is a powerful endorsement of the platform's capabilities and to the third party innovation the platform will attract and enable. With these operator commitments, as well as clear progress with device manufacturers and content providers, Mozilla also directly addresses the twin challenges of scaling distribution and offering third parties a clear path to revenue. Both of which are critical to attracting and sustaining developers' allegiance."
New Firefox OS Branding
Mozilla also unveiled its new Firefox OS consumer identity and brand marketing campaign at the Mobile World Congress press conference. The new branding "unleashes the Fox" to illustrate the qualities of Firefox OS: fun and friendly; supportive and protective; fast and powerful.
Please visit Mozilla and experience Firefox OS in Hall 8.1, stand F20, at the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain from February 25-28, 2013.
For additional resources, such as high-resolution Firefox OS images, b-roll video and links to stand-alone operator and OEM releases visit: https://blog.mozilla.org/press.
Mozilla has been a pioneer and advocate for the Web for more than a decade. We create and promote open standards that enable innovation and advance the Web as a platform for all. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide use Mozilla Firefox to discover, experience and connect to the Web on computers, tablets and mobile phones. For more information please visit https://www.mozilla.org/mwc.
About America Movil
America Movil is the leading provider of integrated telecommunications services in Latin America. At the end of September 2012, the company had 255.9 million wireless subscribers, 30.3 million landlines, 16.7 million broadband accesses and 15.8 million Pay TV clients.
About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies with more than 131 million mobile customers, 33 million fixed-network lines and over 17 million broadband lines (as of September 30, 2012). The Group provides fixed-network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers, and ICT solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in some 50 countries and has over 230,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenue of EUR 58.7 billion in the 2011 financial year - over half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2011).
Strong commitment to excellence and innovation has seen Etisalat become one of the world's fastest-growing telecom groups, rapidly expanding across Asia and Africa. Its UAE operations, strategically located at the crossroads of East and West, enables Etisalat to be the major hub in the Middle East for Internet, voice, broadcast, roaming and corporate data services. Etisalat has been recognised as 'Best Operator' 10 times since 2006 and 'Best Wholesale Provider' four times in the last three years. Servicing over 139 million customers in 15 countries Etisalat continues to reach out to new customers and markets.
Please visit Etisalat at Mobile World Congress in Hall 2, Stand #2B110.
About KDDI Corporation
KDDI, as a comprehensive communications company offering both fixed-line and mobile communications services, strives to be a leading company during changing times.
For individual customers, KDDI offers its mobile communications (au mobile phone) and fixed-line communications (broadband Internet/telephone) services under the brand name ""au"", helping to realize FMBC (Fixed Mobile and Broadcasting Convergence). And for business clients, KDDI provides all services in the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) realm, from FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) networks to data centers, applications, and security strategies, to help clients strengthen their businesses.
About KT Corporation
KT Corporation (NYSE: KT) is Korea's top full-fledged telecommunication operator providing wireless, fixed line, broadband and IPTV. KT has been Korea's leader in the development of the information & communications industry for the last 31 years and has helped turn Korea into an IT powerhouse. KT was the world's first to commercially launch wireless broadband service (WiBro), KT is paving the way for U (Ubiquitous)-Korea with ubiquitous infrastructure through which people can share information wherever they are. KT also launched "LTE WARP", based on the world-first CCC (cloud communication center) virtualization and offers voice calls and data at a fast speed with stable quality.
To learn more, please visit http://www.kt.com/eng/main.jsp
To see KT's future http://www.ollehfutureon.com/index-e.php
MegaFon is a Russian universal telecommunication service provider. Established in May 2002, MegaFon became the first operator with a network covering all regions of Russia. The Company and its subsidiaries have licenses to operate in all of the Russian regions and in the Republics of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Tajikistan. With over 63 million active subscribers, MegaFon manages the most sophisticated and technologically advanced digital and fixed line network in the country. http://www.megafon.com
SingTel is Asia's leading communications group with operations and investments around the world. Serving both the corporate and consumer markets, it is committed to bringing the best global communications solutions to customers in the Asia Pacific and beyond.
With significant operations in Singapore and Australia (through wholly-owned subsidiary SingTel Optus), the Group provides a comprehensive portfolio of services that includes voice and data solutions over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms, as well as infocomm technology and pay TV.
The Group has presence in Asia and Africa with 473 million mobile customers in 26 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand.
To serve the needs of multi-national corporations, SingTel also has a vast network of offices throughout Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States. These offices enable SingTel to deliver reliable and quality network solutions to its customers, either on its own or jointly with local partners.
SingTel employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and had a turnover of S$18.83 billion (US$14.97 billion) and net profit after tax of S$3.99 billion (US$3.17 billion) for the year ended 31 March 2012. More information can be found at www.singtel.com and www.optus.com.au.
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is the Philippines' leading wireless services provider with 52.1 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end-September 2012. Smart has built a reputation for innovation, having introduced world-first wireless offerings such as Smart Money, Smart Load, Smart Padala, the Netphone, and Smart LTE—the world's first multi-band LTE service. Smart also offers 3G and HSPA+ services, while its satellite service, Smart Link, provides communications to the global maritime industry. Smart Broadband, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, offers a wireless broadband service, Smart Broadband, with 1.69 million subscribers as of end-September 2012. Smart is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Philippines' leading telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. For more information, visit smart.com.ph.
Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of market capitalization and number of customers. From this outstanding position in the industry, and with its mobile, fixed and broadband businesses as the key drivers of its growth, Telefonica has focused its strategy on becoming a leading company in the digital world.
The company has a significant presence in 25 countries and a customer base that amounts close to 314 million accesses around the world. Telefonica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy.
Telefonica is a 100% listed company, with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its share capital currently comprises 4.563.996.485 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish Stock Market (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia) and on those in London, New York, Lima, and Buenos Aires.
About Telenor Group
Telenor Group is an international provider of tele, data and media communication services. Telenor Group has mobile operations in 11 markets in the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia, as well as a voting stake of 42.95 per cent (economic stake 35.7 per cent) in VimpelCom Ltd., operating in 18 markets. Headquartered in Norway, Telenor Group is one of the world's major mobile operators with 148 million mobile subscriptions in its consolidated operations per Q4 2012, revenues in 2012 of NOK 102 billion, and a workforce of approximately 30,000. For more information about Telenor Group, please visit www.telenor.com.
TMN is a subsidiary of the Portugal Telecom Group and the leading mobile telecommunications provider in Portugal, with more than 7.3 million customers. Investing in the ongoing diversification of solutions tailored to individual and professional needs, TMN makes technological innovation and orientation towards the client drive its overall activity, supported by constant investments to strengthen the network coverage and the quality of service. TMN has a history of leading the mobile market in Portugal with attractive, advanced services. In 1995, TMN was the first company in the world to introduce a pre-paid service with top-up facilities, using a model that was later adopted by operators around the globe. Always focused on customer satisfaction, TMN and Portugal Telecom aim excellence by continuous introduction of state-of-the-art technologies and services, such as LTE (4G networks) and real Quad-Play propositions.
For more information, please visit www.telecom.pt.
VimpelCom is one of the world's largest integrated telecommunications services operators providing voice and data services through a range of traditional and broadband mobile and fixed technologies in Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic and Canada. VimpelCom's operations around the globe cover territory with a total population of approximately 780 million people. VimpelCom provides services under the "Beeline", "Kyivstar", "djuice", "Wind", "Infostrada" "Mobilink", "Leo", "banglalink", "Telecel", and "Djezzy" brands. As of September 30, 2012 VimpelCom had 212 million mobile subscribers on a combined basis. VimpelCom is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (VIP). For more information visit: http://www.vimpelcom.com.