Mobile service provider Vodafone has recently announced a lot of interesting new services that will encourage the growth of new generation mobile Internet applications. This will be made possible by providing service developers with a single access point to Vodafone’s customers worldwide.
Considering the fact that Vodafone already has a subscriber base of 289 million, which is spread out in different corners of the world, this new project will be a huge undertaking.
A series of new network APIs will provide access to the billing system as well as information about customer location.
There are 3 main services being provided:
- Access to global customer base – this will allow developers to develop an application only once and it will be made to all Vodafone users all over the world.
- Billing – New services will allow customers to pay for various services which they use through heir prepaid or postpaid mobile phone accounts, instead of having to use their credit cards, thus ensuring their safety.
- Location – Developers will be provided with certain capabilities which will give them location awareness, thus allowing them to create more innovative services and applications. Vodafone will however, allow its customers to decide and control how their personal information is to be accessed and used.
This project was conceived following the formation of the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL), which Vodafone established with China Mobile and Softbank.
Following the continued fall in voice to voice and data transport revenues, there has been a lot of speculation regarding the future prospects of the mobile operators business. The introduction of these new services could well be seen as a step in the right direction to improve the revenue generating possibilities for mobile operators.
According to CEO of Vodafone, Vittorio Colao, this step could kill two birds with one stone, as it will allow third parties to develop attractive new services, while billing and supporting customers through their network capabilities all over the world. This will help operators to make more money, while providing users with new and innovative services that they want.
Vodafone will release these API’s through the JIL in summer.