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2/29/2008
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Jim Manico
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Mozilla Wants to Plow Through Wireless Carriers' Walled Gardens

Computerworld

Mozilla is making the rounds to wireless carriers, talking up its free Mobile Firefox browser that would ultimately open Internet access to subscribers -- and take it out of the hands of operators.Therein lies the rub. Some handset manufacturers and carriers rigidly control applications and services, maximizing their revenue by creating so-called "walled gardens" where only their own for-fee services can be accessed. This approach also reduces use of limited 3G bandwidth, meaning carriers don't have to build a more robust network to handle the influx of traffic a free browser would likely introduce, according to Computerworld blogger David Haskin.

The benefits of a free mobile browser like Firefox for SMBs are clear, providing speed doesn't become an issue and wireless carriers don't jack up their prices if they need to bolster their networks.

In the spirit of open source, Mozilla would like manufacturers to contribute to Mobile Firefox's development a la Nokia and Samsung. By year's end, Mozilla plans to release a mobile browser for two operating systems: embedded Linux and Microsoft's Windows Mobile.Computerworld

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