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Etisalat, 17 operators link into Mozilla Firefox Smartphone deal



By Olubunmi Adeniyi

firefox-phoneLagos. February 26, 2013: Search engine company, Mozilla has unveiled plan to launch Firefox operating system for smartphone by mid-2013 announcing 18 key mobile operators including Etisalat that have signed up to the open web device initiative.

The new entrant into the smartphone world, Firefox smartphone, is the world’s first open source web device, the company says.

Mozilla previewed the first commercial build of its Firefox OS open mobile ecosystem on the eve of the opening of the Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain.

The company reveals that eighteen key operators spanning the globe have committed to the open web device initiative. The operators list includes Etisalat which has gained over 15 million mobile phone subscribers in its Nigeria operations.

Others are America Movil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom.

According to Mozilla, 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 localised services that match the unique needs of their customer base, says the company.

“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 hints it has signed strategic relationships with key content and service partners adding that 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.

Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla says that, “Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere.

“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,” Kovacs adds.

Commenting on the alliance, Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Chief Executive at the Etisalat Group, says that, “we are happy to be part of this innovation and to support Mozilla in the launch of this new operating system.

According to him, “Firefox OS smartphones will make a valuable addition to our portfolio and grant our customers a rich and personalised experience. We welcome this development and congratulate Mozilla on their progress.”


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