Seventeen networks around the world have committed to supporting the Mozilla project, but Etisalat is the only one with a heavy African presence.
The Middle East-based network provider has 15 million subscribers in Nigeria. Among the 17 is also Qatari-owned QTel which recently took its stake in Tunisian operator Tunisiana to 90 percent.
Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Chief Executive at the Etisalat Group, said: “We are happy to be part of this innovation and to support Mozilla in the launch of this new operating system.
“Firefox OS smartphones will make a valuable addition to our portfolio and grant our customers a rich and personalized experience. We welcome this development and congratulate Mozilla on their progress.”
The African market is not among those listed as Mozilla’s first port of call with consumers in Brazil, Columbia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuala to get their hands on the devices first.
Mozilla said other markets would be announced soon.
The Firefox OS smartphones are the first built to open Web standards, allowing every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application.
Manufacturers Alcatel, LG and ZTE have all been working on devices and Huawei will join later in the year.
Gary Kovacs, Chief Executive of Mozilla, said: “Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere.
“With the support of our vibrant community and dedicated partners, our goal is to level the playing field and usher in an explosion of content and services that will meet the diverse needs of the next two billion people online.”