The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) — an alliance of telecommunications companies committed to building an open applications platform — has announced that 32 new organisations from across the mobile ecosystem have joined the initiative. These organisations join current board members in setting the strategic direction and evolution of WAC and will be able to launch WAC-enabled storefronts. Each participant can choose the level of membership. Board members such as Accenture, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung each contribute €300,000 a year for membership, while sponsors like Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu, and LG Electronics, pay half of that. Associates (Aplix, LiMo, Oberthur, Opera, Oracle and ZTE, among others) pay €30,000. Together, the 48 members invested some €4 million (about $5.6) thus far into the venture. Operators and sponsors can run app stores. “WAC now has 48 members committed to building open platforms, simplifying the application development process for developers and providing their customers with greater choice,” said Peters Suh, CEO of WAC. Adding more to this, Michel Combes, Chairman WAC commented, “It is great to see so many companies adding their support to the WAC initiative. Quite simply, our goal is to speed up the development of applications so that operators, developers and customers can benefit.” WAC also announced the availability of the WAC 1.0 specification following the completion of the WAC and JIL merger at the beginning of the month. WAC 1.0 is based upon JIL 1.2.2 and is available to download at www.wholesaleappcommunity.com. “The availability of the WAC 1.0 specification sends out a strong message to the developer community that we are committed to working with them to create cross-platform applications that will benefit the entire mobile communications ecosystem,” continued Suh. WAC acquired the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) in April. JIL had similar goals to create a far-reaching app store. The merger was completed earlier in October and has allowed the released of WAC 1.0 based on JIL’s existing specs. The standard should allow for mobile apps for every mobile phone and not be relegate to a specific type or OS.