#MWC12 Round Up So Far

With Mobile World Congress kicking off to a great start, announcements of new products, services and partnerships have been spreading around the Fira Montjüic complex like wild fire. Here´s a quick round up of the big news that has hit Barcelona so far...

Facebook to aid mobile web standards

Facebook has announced it is working on some mobile web initiatives, including developing HTML5 standards and mobile billing. CEO Brett Taylor explained during his keynote speech yesterday that Facebook plans to help support the development of mobile web by working with over 30 different operators, developers and manufacturers to help address HTML5 fragmentation within the industry.

Facebook will also partner with operators in order to offer direct mobile billing within the social network. The collaboration will remove SMS verifications, whilst providing developers with one SDK to achieve global reach. The platform will be able to offer paid content via video and in-game credits.  Telefonica, Orange, T-Mobile and AT&T are said to be signed on for the service.

Taylor said: “Despite the incredible amount of work we have to do to make the mobile web great, I am extremely optimistic. In all of my years in the industry, I haven’t seen such a coordinated effort across so many segments of our industry. These are hard problems, but they are solvable problems, and we are going to solve them together.”

Visa partners with Intel and Vodafone for mobile commerce

Visa has announced that it is working on mobile commerce projects, including partnerships with both Intel and Vodafone. Intel Atom smartphones and tablets will offer streamlined and secure mobile commerce experiences for Intel consumers. Intel´s mobile commerce solution will be used with Visa´s payWave payment application and also features NFC technology.

Vodafone will also be working on a new NFC-based mobile payments service, first involving pre-paid cards, with plans to expand to other bank and retailer cards. The service will be available in Germany, Spain, Turkey, then branched out across its 400-million customers across the world.

John Partridge, President of Visa Inc, said: "This is another example of how Visa is making mobile payments broadly available across devices and operating systems and is ensuring that mobile commerce applications are aligned with existing technology and security standards established by the global payments industry."

Visa will also be looking into a ‘one-stop solution’ of its own, enabling you to wirelessly link Visa accounts to NFC devices. By using this digital wallet solution, operators and banks will find it easier to link accounts to consumer´s smartphones and tablets. It will also offer loyalty programs and support for non-Visa payments.

Mozilla & Telefonica join forces for new OS

Mozilla is partnering with Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica on its new browser based mobile OS.

The new Android-based smartphones are expected to launch later this year, with the Firefox browser running calls, messaging and games. Plans to improve the HTML5 standard with new interfaces will also enable access to more device features.

According to Telefonica´s Digital Director of Product Development, Carlos Dmingo said that the Mozilla phone would ten times cheaper than the iPhone, because of the technology behind it.

He added: “Telefonica's objective is to drive HTML5 adoption across the industry. For the first time the capabilities of HTML5 and the open Web have been fully leveraged to create an entirely new mobile platform."

Mozilla has also partnered with processor manufacturer Qualcomm to build hardware, alongside Deutsche Telekom expressing interest in its Boot to Gecko OS project, which will create an open web platform based on Firefox.

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