Firefox Mobile due by year-end, greedy wireless carriers resent it

March 4, 2008

Firefox Mobile due by year-end, greedy wireless carriers resent itMozilla is talking with wireless operators about including the free Firefox Mobile web browser on phones to improve browsing experience from mobile phones, and to open up the mobile internet.

Wireless carriers typically control what applications can be used on the mobiles so that they can increase revenue by restricting subscribers to fee-based content as opposed to free content on the web. Carriers, wireless and landline, are fighting tooth and nail against becoming “dumb pipes”. What that means is, they want to be able to make money from you by selling content in there “walled gardens”, instead of just selling a data pipe. Many wireless carriers are threatened by Firefox Mobile, even though the fact is that subscribers use more data usage when browsing the open internet, than when in a walled garden.

Mozilla plans on launching the mobile Firefox on phones using Windows Mobile or embedded Linux. “Mozilla’s mission is to break open a closed market,” said Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla’s vice president of engineering, but “it won’t happen overnight.”

Though carriers might not accept the free browser so readily, manufactures have been quite helpful. Samsung has actually submitted “tips” for the user interface, and ARM and Intel has worked with Mozilla to ensure the mobile Firefox will work on the latest chipsets.

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One Response to “Firefox Mobile due by year-end, greedy wireless carriers resent it”

  1. Jim - 406NotAccceptable:

    I’d love to see the source for this, here in the UK mobile networks are happy to charge us a fortune for data access instead. I was previously being charged £2.70 ($5) for one megabyte of data! Although, now companies offer so called unlimited data for around $10-20 a month. I would guess this could be done in the US as well.

    The networks also give us the option to use services much like your ‘Walled Gardens’ for example Mobile TV or their own versions of YouTube and news sites. Often news is free, but I paid the equivalent of $10 a month for mobile TV, whilst a mate paid $5 for a Youtube alternative.

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