Forum providing suite of tools and resources to help developers create mobile applications that take advantage of small cells
Mobile World Congress – 28 February 2012: The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, today launched a developer community to help expand the development of small cell enabled mobile applications and services. In cooperation with the platform provider Aepona, the Forum has developed a suite of developer resources. This includes a developer forum, APIs, application specifications, tutorials, code samples, a sandbox in which code can be tested and information on use cases and the wider small cell opportunity.
Small cells have a number of attributes which can be used to create compelling new mass-market mobile applications. They provide highly accurate location information so developers can build applications that automatically trigger when users enter, or leave, a home, office, shop or public space. For example, in Japan, mobile operators are making revenue from a small cell service which alerts parents when their children arrive home from school. Furthermore, the fast and low-cost data connection provided by small cells also provides the ideal environment for services such as fast podcast downloads or flawless media streaming. Additionally, small cells act as a secure bridge between the mobile device and users’ local network and therefore direct access to a wealth of connected devices and services in homes and enterprises.
“The fact that both small cell deployments and mobile app uptake are rocketing presents a major opportunity. Intelligent cells that can wake up apps when a user is in a precise geographical place could be a boon to thousands of existing applications as well as drive the development of thousands more new apps. These new small cell based services are starting to appear already but we recognise that the development community needs more tools, tips and information in order to get their teeth into this new market. The Small Cell Forum’s new developer community will help to deliver on this front,” said Andy Germano, The Small Cell Forum’s Vice-Chairman and head of the Services Working Group.
In March 2011, the Small Cell Forum published the first APIs that define how to create and write new mobile applications based on small cell technologies. These APIs have already been used by Telecom Italia and Alcatel-Lucent to develop a museum application that provides multimedia information about specific exhibits in closest proximity to the user. In February 2012, the Small Cell Forum announced a cooperation agreement with the Open Mobile Alliance(OMA), an international specifications setting body, to develop open API standards for small cells on a global scale.
Research into global consumer attitudes to femtocells conducted by Parks Research and published by the Small Cell Forum last year found that almost 60% of consumers are interested in femtocells. Of these, 68% found at least one advanced femtocell service either very or extremely appealing. In the US specifically, 72% of consumers who found femtocells appealing were very interested in at least one advanced femtocell service and half of these were willing to pay $4.99/month for their single favorite service or $9.99/month for a bundle of their favorite three.
The new web site can be found at www.smallcellforum.org/developers
About The Small Cell Forum
The Small Cell Forum (www.smallcellforum.org), formerly known as the Femto Forum, supports the wide-scale adoption of small cells. Small cells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum, are operator-managed and feature edge-based intelligence. They provide improved cellular coverage, capacity and applications for homes and enterprises as well as metropolitan and rural public spaces. They include technologies variously described as femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. The Forum has 137 members including 63 operators representing more than 1.71 billion mobile subscribers – 33% of the global total – as well as telecoms hardware and software vendors, content providers and innovative start-ups.