The Pressure to Be Open: How Are Network Operators Coping?

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For years, network operators happily called all the shots when it came to developers, effectively saying, You want to be on our network? Then jump through all these hoops to get approved, and be happy with whatever margins we pay you.

You can’t get away treating people like that for too long. Indeed, these days, developers are calling the shots, requiring more open development platforms and a 70-30 split with mobile providers. Carriers such as O2 (Litmus) and SK Telecom have both agreed to the new arrangements, while others are reluctantly cutting their revenue streams just to stay on par with the marketplace.

But carriers want innovation, and in order to get it they either have to look to the web for successful business models, social interaction and portable applications, or innovate their own. Wouldn’t it be great if the marketplace for mobile could truly be as flexible and open as that of the Internet? To avoid fragmentation, partnerships are key.

Already we’re seeing such initiatives like the Joint Innovation Labs program, which was founded by Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, China Mobile and Softbank. And then there’s the Rich Communication Suite (RCS), which enables mobile phones to have many of the standardized communications features as Internet users, such as instant messaging, video chat and buddy lists.

Get involved. Join Alcatel-Lucent in support of such efforts as mobile’s open web-friendly API, GSMA OneAPI, and RCS.

For more, read “New Rules of Engagement to Create an Attractive Mobile Application Marketplace (PDF).”

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