The arrival of the first Ubuntu OS-based smartphone took one step closer today with the formation of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group – a collection of operators around the world that want a say in the ongoing development of the Ubuntu smartphone OS.

Canonical, the company behind the open source operating system Ubuntu, first outlined its plans to have essentially the same version (using the same kernel, at least) of its platform running on PCs, TVs, smartphones and tablets at the beginning of the year but little progress has been seen in the interim months.

However, with the formation of the Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), we can at least rest assured that the industry is considering the possibility of rolling out Ubuntu smartphones at some point in the future.

Among the initial founding members are EE, Deutesche Telekom, Korea Telecom, telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom and “the leading Spanish international carrier”.

The aim of the CAG will be to discuss various aspects of development of the platform and will cover things like ways to differentiate it for operators and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers – device makers), which HTML5 standards it should support and how best to establish marketplaces for apps, content and services.

Canonical said the group will also aim look at things like platform fragmentation, revenue share models and payment mechanisms and standards.

The company also noted that other national or internation operators are still welcome to join the CAG, adding that only the group’s members will have access to early information about device manufacturer plans to support the OS, as well as the opportunity to be a launch partner when the first devices do indeed start rolling off the end of the production lines.

Exactly when that will be is unknown, but in the past Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, has said that the first smartphones should arrive from around January 2014.

Image Credit – Thinkstock