Not content with a simple Deutsche Telecom announcement, Mozilla's using Mobile World Congress as a platform to launch its mobile operating system in a slew of markets. Rolling out in waves, the first round of devices featuring Firefox OS include the likes of Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela, with more markets soon, according to the company. The first round of handsets include devices by Alcatel, LG and ZTE. Mozilla also let slip news of a forthcoming handset from Huawei, who just capped up their own MWC press conference. As you'd expect, there's a whole slew of carriers on board. You can find the list in the release after the break.
Mozilla Announces Global Expansion for Firefox OS
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: América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three
Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group,
Telefónica, 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 América Móvil, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Telenor, most seeing starts mid-year. More information on the rollout plans for individual operators is included below.
"América Móvil 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 América Móvil.
"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 René 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."KT 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."