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.
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.
As most of you have heard by now, the TeleManagement Forum has acquired the IPsphere Forum (IPSF). The TM Forum said it will integrate the IPsphere Framework into its Service Delivery Framework program, creating a pre-commercial test bed for pilot programs and multivendor interoperability. The TM Forum’s Service Delivery Framework focuses on enabling control of service lifecycle management across all execution environments, allowing flexibility in binding services with product catalogs.
That’s quite a mouthful. Whether the market swallows what the IPSF (and now TMF) is proposing will depend on fidelity to the core aims of the IPSF and delivering something as market-worthy as what is on the drawing board.