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April 01, 2015

Should Carriers Develop Their Own Frameworks?

(Notice: To protect jobs I am going to be vague about the sources of the conversations. You should expect that much of this can apply to any carrier.)

I was struck by Facebook’s adoption of Parse as their framework for companies to bring in the developer community to enable devices and applications. 

Frameworks maintain a standard look and feel. Frameworks are the darling of the JavaScript era. It seems we don’t need an SKD more than a framework. 

That makes me think the hunt for the Network API is probably the wrong place to focus. Here’s why.

Net Neutrality has turned into the hot potato that no one seems to be able to let go of. We have FCC Commissioner Pai suggesting the enforcement should have its funding cut off. We have the carriers going back to court and we have lobbyists running around Congress like it was the claims office during the gold rush.

The bottom line is, even if a carrier could open an interface to provide differentiated services in real time, it would attract more regulators than customers.

In the age of smart phones, it’s not the Intelligence of the Network, but the experience on the device that matters. While I can think of many things better than visual voicemail on my phone, the reality is that the AIN techniques I would want to use have no guarantee of being available in this day and age. IMS is a fancy way of saying the Carrier’s IT groups still do not understand SIP, and want SIP to change to meet them, rather than vice versa.

The customers know the look and feel of their phone. We are losing intelligence all the time. Phone numbers are no longer in our finger memory; they are scrolled through by name. The experience of the phone is the experience of the customer.

What is needed, then, is a carrier website that has a Web view on the phone that allows for customers to gain access to Web creativity. To be totally candid, it does not much matter whether it touches the network or not. It can simply be a “brand new service.” If it needs to send DTMF to invoke features, that’s about all the framework should include (with perhaps a bit of CLASS on the side).

Bottom line: the carriers need to become Web-centric to deliver added value to their access service.


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