The mobile operators and handset makers are setting up a not-for-profit organisation to share development costs, and expect to have a working version of the OS within 18 months.
The plan is to save costs on the development of other mobile programs, as they will not have to be tweaked to work on multiple mobile phone operating systems.
"The bigger cost saving elements will come from removing the number of small fragmented proprietary platforms and reducing long lead times for new services, " Patrick Chomet, platform development director at Vodafone, told Reuters.
"We have to adapt them each time we have a new game or a new service, and we have to support every single phone from every single supplier and that's a huge effort in time and cost."
The current market for mobile phones running Linux is very small and concentrated in China.
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