Mobile devices and services that work together seamlessly might just have got that little bit closer to becoming a reality, thanks to the formation of the Open Mobile Alliance.

Network operators, handset makers and IT companies are all lining up to back the new industry group, which has been formed to drive the development of standards for mobile teleco services and guarantee interoperability between mobile products and services.

The Open Mobile Alliance brings together more than 200 companies and consolidates the activities of several industry bodies, such as the WAP Forum and the Wireless Village initiative, according to Jon Prial, vice president of business development at IBM and a member of the Open Mobile Alliance board of directors.

"The intent is to grow the market so all of the members can compete within that," Prial said.

Among the issues that will be tackled by the Open Mobile Alliance are the development of standards such as XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language), MMS (Multimedia Message Service) interoperability and standards for location-based services, Prial said. Future initiatives will focus on developing digital rights management and device management standards.

Members of the new group are drawn from across the technology industry and include Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens, Sun Microsystems, OpenWave Systems, Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Vodafone, NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and MasterCard International.