The Tizen Association, a collective of three dozen companies backing the Linux-based open-source mobile operating system, recently welcomed 15 new supporters to the team. You’ll no doubt recognize several big names as well as two mobile carriers – SoftBank Mobile and Sprint.

Sprint first joined the Tizen Association in 2012 but pulled out a year later. The carrier is back once again alongside parent company SoftBank and 13 other newcomers: AccuWeather, Acrodea, Baidu, CloudStreet, Cyberlighting, DynAgility,Gamevil, Inside Secure, Ixonos, Nomovok, Piceasoft, Red Bend Software and ZTE.

As you can see, the new members include mobile game publishers, operators, application developers, mobile software management vendors and major telecoms. They join existing partners which include Intel, Samsung, Huawei, LG, Panasonic, Orange, Vodafone and SK Telecom.

Tizen has experienced a few setbacks as of late but the association is still expected to show off their first wave of devices during Mobile World Congress later this month in Barcelona. Invites to the event went out late last year and although they didn’t specifically mention smartphones, we’d be shocked if they didn’t have at least one handset on display.

There’s already a single Tizen device on the market – the Samsung NX300 camera – but you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. That’s because the OS is hidden behind a custom interface that is designed to look like the previous camera UI.

It’s far too early to know if Tizen will be able to shake up an industry dominated by Android and iOS but one this is for sure: added competition is certainly a positive for the consumer.