Ubuntu phone OS has eight carriers signed on to boost development

Ubuntu logoCanonical has formed a "Carrier Advisory Group" of eight mobile operators who will collaborate to influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones.

Canonical said the first members of the group are Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom, and "the leading Spanish international carrier." Canonical declined to identify the Spanish carrier when we contacted them, although based on the description it may be Telefónica (also known as O2). With the exception of Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile, the list doesn't include any major US carriers. Canonical said that "any national or multinational carrier" may join.

The carriers in this group will be the only ones to get "access to early information about Ubuntu and device manufacturer plans to support the OS, as well as the opportunity to be a launch partner for Ubuntu on smartphones," Canonical said. While Canonical remains the developer of Ubuntu phone software, the carriers will be able to influence the roadmap. The group will hold meetings to discuss topics including "differentiation for OEMs and operators; developer ecosystems and application portability from Android and Blackberry; HTML5 standards, performance and compatibility; marketplaces for apps, content and services; revenue share models for publishers, operators and OEMs; payment mechanisms and standards; platform fragmentation; [and] consumer and enterprise market segments and positioning."

As we've noted in previous articles, support from carriers, app makers, and device manufacturers will be crucial for Ubuntu's phone OS given that consumers can already choose from many great smartphones currently on the market. The curious can try Ubuntu Touch on Nexus devices today, but Canonical has said phones preinstalled with Ubuntu aren't likely to hit retail until Q1 2014.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: smartphones, Ubuntu

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