Mozilla hails new global support for Firefox Mobile OS

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Organisation behind Firefox web browser announces five operators and two manufacturers have joined Telefonica in supporting its forthcoming ‘open’ mobile operating system, with first devices scheduled for Brazil launch in early 2013

Operators Sprint, Deutsche Telekom, Smart, Telecom Italia, and Telenor have joined Telefonica in backing the Firefox mobile operating system (pictured) under development by Mozilla, the non-profit organisation behind the popular Firefox browser.

Mozilla said that it has also gained the support of Chinese handset manufacturers ZTE and Alcatel One Touch, which have committed to build the first handsets running the new OS.

The first Firefox OS handsets are expected to launch in Brazil early next year through Telefonica’s Vivo brand, and will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors.

Mozilla claims that the “open” Firefox OS will be able to use the HTML5 standard to access “underlying capabilities” such as calling and messaging that are currently only available through native applications.

HTML5 is being rolled out across the web, giving web developers the ability to implement features through web pages that would normally require an application installed on a PC or other device.

Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said: “The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers.

“As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use.

“The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings.”

Telefonica Digital CEO Matthew Key said: “Firefox OS will deliver a higher performance than current low cost smartphones can achieve, enabling more people to benefit from a better experience.

“This is crucial for us to accelerate the adoption of smartphones in developing markets. The breadth of support for this initiative across the industry makes it clear that there is an opportunity in the market for a new, open mobile ecosystem.”

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