Six of the biggest names in mobile telephony have announced a new foundation to push Linux standardisation and adoption on mobile phones.

Hardware makers Motorola, NEC, Panasonic Mobile and Samsung Electronics, and carriers NTT Docomo and Vodafone said last June that they planned to work together on a Linux-based open-software platform for mobiles.

The non-profit Limo Foundation is open to any individual or enterprise for an annual fee of between $40,000 and $800,000 depending on membership class. Membership provides access to and the ability to contribute to source code developed by the group.

A 13-member board of directors will meet four times a year to run the foundation. It will be led by Greg Besio of Motorola as chairman and Kiyohito Nagata of NTT Docomo as vice chairman.

Linux is finding its way into an increasing number of mobile phones as operators and manufacturers seek to cut development costs, expand compatibility between different models and widen the features available on mobile phones.

Two of the foundation's members, NEC and Panasonic, have been working together on Linux-based phones for NTT Docomo since 2001 and last year they established a joint venture to work on basic design and development of 3G phones. Motorola and Samsung are also working separately on Linux-based mobile phones.