China Mobile (CHL), SoftBank and Vodafone (VOD) have signed a deal in Beijing to jointly set up an innovation lab to promote the development of mobile Internet services.

The joint innovation lab will serve as a platform for the parties to develop mobile services and drive innovation and synergy in the industry to the benefit their combined global customer base, and it will also launch projects based on emerging technologies and market demand.

The Lab reportedly will focus on pushing the development of new mobile technology, application and services such as mobile widgets. In the initial stage, it plans to develop a platform for mobile widgets to encourage the development of innovative new services that can leverage mobile operators' unique capabilities. The parties hope that the lab can enable different widgets and applications to run seamlessly on different handset platforms and operating systems across different mobile operators, while safeguarding customer security, data privacy and billing systems.

The proposed lab is awaiting regulatory approval in China, and the parties have not provided a definitive date when they will have their grand opening.

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