AT&T has unveiled a service which businesses can use to make their applications suitable for almost any tablet or smartphone.

The US telco’s Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform (MEAP) Managed Solution will enable enterprises to host apps and data in the company’s cloud infrastructure and connect their mobile applications to existing business systems. The service will also provide customers with access to AT&T technical architects, developers and quality assurance teams.

According to AT&T, customising applications to run on multiple devices can be costly and take up significant amounts of time for businesses. The input from AT&T staff is intended to help customer development teams make applications more reliable and secure for business use and to reduce the investment risk of developing new mobile applications.

The MEAP service also includes application development, management, integration and professional services from AT&T's Synaptic Hosting infrastructure as well as software from Pyxis Mobile.

AT&T Business Solutions VP of advanced mobility solutions, Chris Hill, said: "AT&T MEAP – Managed Solution can help businesses accelerate mobile application development and lay the foundation for empowering a mobile workforce with business apps.”

Analysts refer to MEAP as a unifying technology for creating, implementing and managing enterprise applications.

Gartner predicts that the vast majority of organisations (95 percent) will choose MEAP as the preferred approach for developing mobile applications over the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, analyst firm IDC has predicted that industry-wide MEAP revenue in the Americas will approach US$930 million by 2014. IDC VP for mobility and telecom Stephen Drake said the US has the highest proportion of mobile workers, with three-quarters of the workforce expected to be mobile by 2013. "MEAP provides the mission critical platform required to mobile-enable this key workforce population," he said.