Operators can play a greater role in the mobile apps market by providing developers with access to the data they hold, according to Andrew Darling, EMEA associate director of marketing at mobile transaction hub provider OpenMarket.
With operators already selling APIs that provide access to data to the likes of Facebook and Google, as well as transaction hubs like OpenMarket, Darling suggested a hybrid approach in which operators and developers trade APIs. Companies like OpenMarket could host these exchanges and help resolve any complexity issues.
This approach would allow developers, operators, and even businesses wanting to become involved in the app market, to easily take advantage of expertise elsewhere in the industry. “I think that’s a good key to unlocking the lifecycle of apps,” Darling said.
Operators could also help developers keep track of their products when users change devices, as they know when subscribers change devices and numbers are ported. Developers could use this information to get a better insight into the types of apps users take with them to new devices and how behaviours differ between handsets and mobile operating systems.
“You’re identifying and reducing the cost of acquisition of an app and reducing the app churn from users from the monitoring things like the change of handsets,” Darling said.
Darling said operators shouldn’t be content to be “dumb pipes” for over-the-top players to make money through and can play a greater role in the monetisation and development or mobile apps. “I don’t think there is any reason for operators to become dumb pipes – in fact quite the opposite really,” he said.
“Whether or not it’s an app store or a question of what value operators can bring the developer community, there are still a lot of advantages that operators can provide for monetising apps,” he added.