Virtually every mobile operator worth its spectrum has made it super-easy to buy applications for your mobile phone these days: Point > Click > Provide payment method > Done. Now, however, a new generation of indie providers, and in some cases the giants who provide the mobile handsets and operating systems, are making it a lot easier to create mobile apps, too.
While some of the largest players such as IBM and Accenture have provided a service delivery platform or two (IBM for Sprint and India’s Bharti Airtel, Accenture for Turkcell), a strike force of small independent software vendors (ISVs) has been crafting and deploying SDPs for broadband operators. And some of IBM and Accenture’s fellow heavyweights not only have taken notice but have taken out their checkbooks to bring some of that upstart-developed goodness home for the holidays.
With competition from every side, service providers must roll out a great many new services and features in the next few years to slake the thirst of overheated markets. We’ve talked about service delivery platforms (SDPs) that can slash the time, cost and risk of doing that, not just for today’s services but by providing a platform for services we haven’t even thought of yet. SDPs also lend a hand with the cost side of the equation, which is helpful because while service providers gamely strive to reach consumers and businesses with every conceivable service on every possible device, they must also improve operational efficiency to align their cost structures with revenues. SDPs help ease capex by employing more enterprise networking devices that on average are far less expensive than telecom equipment, and because their service-oriented architecture (SOA) structures enable service providers to leverage network capacity, content and other service components from a myriad of other sources instead of having to build it all themselves.