After struggling for over two years to get its mobile app store off the ground, the Wholesale Applications Community has decided to give up on its efforts, selling its assets and calling it a day. Established by the likes of Verizon, AT&T and Vodafone, the GSMA has agreed to continue offering the service to its membership, although its relatively recent payments system API (an asset that's now being sold off) might prove to be one of the last additions.

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GSMA and WAC join forces to accelerate mobile applications market

Apigee Purchases WAC Technology Assets and Signs Managed Service Partnership Agreement with the GSMA

LONDON, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The GSMA today announced that it has reached an agreement to integrate the major programmes and initiatives driven by the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) into the GSMA. Further to this agreement, Apigee, a leading provider of API products and services, has acquired the technology assets of WAC. Apigee will continue to develop and evolve the WAC Web Run Time and network application programming interfaces (APIs) and will provide these assets as a managed service to the GSMA and its mobile operator members.

"Since its inception, WAC has been committed to simplifying the developer experience and fostering innovation through an open web run time and cross-operator API platform," said Franco Bernabe, Chairman, GSMA and Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia Group. "They have made strong progress, with operators deploying WAC apps and utilising the WAC Payment API. By integrating WAC into the GSMA, we will be able to scale this across our full membership, assisting operators around the world to better serve their customers."

In February, WAC launched its Payment API, an operator billing service that enables customers to pay for digital goods via their operator bill. WAC's Payment API offers developers an easy way to monetise their applications across a range of platforms and technologies, using a reliable, cross-operator billing service. The WAC Payment API has launched or is in trial with leading operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, KT, LGU+, SK Telecom, Smart Communications, Telefonica and Telenor, and is in development with a further 12 operators. The WAC Web Run Time has been enabled on approximately 12 million devices to date with a successful deployment by operators including KT, LGU+, SK Telecom and Smart Communications.

"We are very proud of the work that the team has done in developing and incubating an open, web-based platform that can run applications and utilise network APIs across multiple devices and operating systems," said Michel Combes, Chairman, WAC. "Now we are excited to move on to the next stage of our development with the GSMA and their ability to make this technology available to their 800 operator members worldwide."

"AT&T is pleased to be supporting the network API project as it transitions into the GSMA," said John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President - AT&T Technology and Network Operations. "Our industry needs a cross-operator solution for network and operator-based APIs such as messaging, billing and authentication. This will enable consumers to experience more compelling applications and reap the benefits of the mobile Internet."

"The WAC Web Run Time, based on HTML5 technology, has demonstrated the possibilities for delivering cross-operating system applications," said Dr. Terry Ahn, Executive Vice President of Mobile Business Group of KT. "With HTML5, we believe our developers can easily adapt from one platform to another and provide our customers with the greater usage of applications across multiple devices and multiple screens."