A group of mobile operators have just unveiled a new initiative they’re calling “BONDI” whose goal is to encourage development of new mobile web applications while not compromising customers’ security. BONDI was created by members of the OMTP(Open Mobile Terminal Platform), an industry group that includes participants from all parts of the mobile world and whose members include operators like AT&T, Hutchison 3G, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telef√≥nica, Telenor, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

With BONDI, named for the popular Australian beach, OMTP wants customers to know “it’s safe to surf!” In order to move mobile web development forward, OMTP wants to fix the current problem we have today where a mobile app written for one phone has to be rewritten again and again to work on all devices. This effort is costly, inefficient, confusing for the end user, and slows down the time to market.

So instead, via the BONDI initiative, OMTP will define what interfaces developers need to access when writing apps that tap into more sensitive functions on the mobile device. BONDI will expose those handset features to the developers while also protecting the users from any fraudulent or malicious activity.

In addition, the web services that result from the BONDI initiative will incorporate the various open and proprietary work currently in progress in this area of mobile development so as not to cause more fragmentation.

As today’s mobile phones become more like mini-computers, the need for standards and security is paramount. The members of OMTP agree. Having standards will “encourage more developers to create unique, exciting applications for mobile web 2.0,” says Arnd Gallmann SVP Terminal Technology at T-Mobile.

We couldn’t agree more and are now eagerly awaiting the plethora of services that are sure to result from this move.

sarah perez