Vodafone will launch a new open source community portal, called Betavine. It will be a research and development space, run by Vodafone Group R&D. It aims to encourage collaboration in the area of mobile and internet communications, so they will be targeting developers and early adopter users in the Mobile Web arena.The Mobile Web isn't just about the Googles and Yahoos of this world muscling in to the lucrative mobile content market. The existing mobile network operators and handset manufacturers are also busy adjusting to the Internet, to defend their turf and just maybe get a jump on their competitors. On 31 January
For example, users will be able to download and test applications, plus comment and contribute on the forums and blogs. Developers can create projects and host applications, plus blog and interact with their users and the Betavine community. Indeed, interaction between developers and testers will be a key part of Betavine - Vodafone hopes it will provide them with a testing ground for the latest Mobile Web concepts and technologies.
Betavine is similar to Nokia's open source community, Maemo, which we recently discussed on Read/WriteWeb. It's good to see the traditional mobile companies 'opening up' a bit more in this era of Mobile Web, at least when it comes to development and new apps. We'll not mention walled garden general content and services for now ;-)