Small Cell Forum and Open Mobile Alliance Expand Global Access to Small Cell Technology for Mobile Applications
Cooperation Agreement will support tailored apps for environments such as homes, offices, museums and shopping centers
London, UK – The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, and the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), an international specifications setting body, have established a cooperation agreement for OMA to develop API standards for small cells on a global scale. The ultimate impact of this cooperation will be shorter time to market for new or enhanced applications using small cell technology. The Small Cell Forum’s members include all the major telecommunications equipment manufacturers who will be able to ensure the resulting APIs are compatible with their products. OMA allows developers to reach a wider audience by exposing unique operator network capabilities in an open and programmable way.
Small cell technology allows application developers to incorporate enhanced presence, context and location-sensitive features into new and existing apps. Small cells also allow operators and their customers to take advantage of faster data connections by extending existing network capabilities. For example, a small cell can efficiently provide location information to within a few metres [both indoors and outdoors], making location-based apps vastly more consistent and effective.
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. This work has already borne fruit. Telecom Italia in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent have deployed the Small Cell Forum’s APIs to use small cells’ improved geo-location capabilities – creating a museum application that provides multimedia information about specific exhibits in closest proximity to visitors.
By standardizing small cell APIs, OMA and the Small Cell Forum will help reduce industry fragmentation and promote consistent development scenarios that bring small cell capabilities to a larger market. “OMA sees this cooperation as an important step in harnessing the broad technical strengths of OMA’s API program with the keen market insight of the Small Cell Forum,” says Mark Cataldo, Chairman of the Board, OMA. “This collaboration is squarely in the center of OMA’s goals for cooperation with other bodies. OMA is extremely proud of this cooperation with the Small Cell Forum as well as other market-specific associations who bring their unique requirements to our API program and across our working groups.”
“Small cell powered applications are looking like they could be big business. From pioneering operators like NTT DoCoMo who are commercial with an application that tells you when your kid’s at home, to new players such as Telecom Italia whose museum app tells you about the exhibit in front of you,” said Andy Germano, The Small Cell Forum’s Vice-Chairman and head of the Services Special Interest Group. “By offering fine grained information on where a user is, the potential of location-based services is dramatically improved. The result is apps with enormous commercial potential such as targeted offers in shops or highly useful information services at stations and museums. Providing these applications leveraging mobile network operator managed networks delivers a more consistent experience using standard mobile devices.”
“More than 30 operators, handset, software and IT vendors worldwide have endorsed OMA’s API program,” says Musa Unmehopa, Chairman, OMA Technical Plenary. “We welcome the Small Cell Forum’s cooperation to offer more accurate and contextual services for existing operator networks and anyone who will use the OMA and Small Cell Forum API standards.”
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.
About the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA)
The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) delivers open specifications for creating interoperable services that work across all geographical boundaries, on any bearer network. To date,
OMA has published more than 100 enabler releases with ongoing maintenance, revisions and new versions of its work. OMA’s specifications support the billions of new and existing fixed and mobile terminals across a variety of mobile networks. Driven by the global demand for mobile data services, the member companies of the Open Mobile Alliance support the adoption of new and enhanced information, communication and entertainment solutions. The Open Mobile Alliance includes contributors from all key elements of the wireless value chain, and contributes to the timely and efficient introduction of services and applications to the market.
The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) name and logo are trademarks of Open Mobile Alliance Ltd. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks or trade names of their respective owners.
Oliver [a t] smallcellforum.org
+44 (0) 7713 404 571