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Mobile Application Stores: What's the Operator's Play
Written by Brian Walsh, Cisco

Mobile application uptake-it isn't only about iPhones.  Sure Apple's App Store now offers over 65,000 applications, and users have downloaded more than 1.5 billion iPhone and iPod touch applications in the 1st year since launch.

But while getting a late start, other mobile application storefronts are trying to catch up.  In the 3 months since launch, RIM's BlackBerry App World has 2,000 applications ready for download. The Nokia Ovi Store is leveraging (and paying 70% revenue share to) the large Symbian developer community to create new applications for its user base. At the myTouch 3G launch, Google announced that there are more than 5,000 applications in the Android Marketplace. Recently joining the party is the LG Application Store, initially targeting markets in Asia. 

But if mobile application uptake continues to center on smartphone application stores, how will mobile operators gain revenue value from the applications and services they are transporting? In a previous blog, I discussed a few ways operators can more effectively monetize the rapidly growing mobile data usage driven by this plethora of applications.  One approach is to enable developers to leverage operator network "hooks" to save development costs, differentiate their applications, and give subscribers an enhanced user experience.  Allowing developers to seamlessly integrate to operator billing and payments systems across legacy, 3G, and 4G networks is one way to achieve this.

For two scenarios of how mobile application uptake shifts the value captured across the ecosystem, we can look at trends in emerging and developed markets.

As mobile operators and device vendors focus on emerging markets for key growth opportunities, the ability to deliver low-cost handsets no longer precludes delivering rich services. This had led handset vendors to target content-driven services to customers whose mobile phone is their first and primary internet experience and for which price points are very low. As low-cost handsets deliver rich internet services, emerging market networks will see increased demand for delivering video, location, and messaging capabilities.

In developed markets, many mobile operators view securing an iconographic device such as the iPhone or Blackberry Storm as a necessity to maintaining high-ARPU customers. But these devices, while driving loyalty and intensive data usage, are also an attempt by device vendors to own the billing relationship and value add of content and applications delivered on their platforms.

As ARPU remains flat or declines on data plans, operators need the ability to share in value capture of the services themselves in order to offset the cost of backhaul and core network upgrades-but will this happen?

Several of the announced application store vendors have yet to settle on long-term billing solutions which are as seamless to end customers as, for example, iTunes is to iPhone customers. Further complicating the picture for the end user is that each major device vendor and mobile operating system player has its own app store and payments system.

One common theme we are likely to see in both developed and emerging markets is a desire from end customers to unify this fragmenting experience beginning with bill presentation and payment. Simply put, most customers prefer to have content and application purchase and usage fees show up on the same bill as their voice and data services.

Ultimately this means integrating app stores to operator BSS/OSS systems and doing so without impeding order flow to keep the transaction experience clean. Today's off-portal content solutions have drastically lower success rates than on-device application stores in successfully billing and settling content charges. This situation will only get more complex as operators migrate current BSS/OSS systems to dynamic policy and online charging architectures.

Accessing an application server for content or gaming may have different characteristics depending on whether a 3G or 4G network is being used. The opportunity to standardize charging policies and procedures across technologies will likely fall to mobile operators. Vodafone and Verizon, for example, have announced they will provide application programming interfaces (APIs) that will enable developers to collect micro-payments for applications through the use of these operators' existing billing systems.  Operators' success in doing so will be critical to capturing value from rapid uptake of app stores and content services delivered to both smartphones and low-cost handsets.

About Deborah Strickland
The articles presented here are blog posts from members of our Service Provider Mobility community. Deborah Strickland is a Web and Social Media Program Manager at Cisco. Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPMobility.

Presentation Slides
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build thei...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously...
CloudEXPO Stories
​Blockchain, also known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), can be used for more than just crypto currencies. This presentation discusses how blockchain and the Internet of Things (IOT) can be used for several supply chain management and logistics use cases. Real world examples that utilize the open source project Hyperledger will be discussed.
Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making Perfect Gym Solutions one of the largest and fastest growing SaaS applications in the fitness industry. Their platform is a comprehensive package of modern modular products for the management of fitness clubs, sports facilities and gyms an end- to end solution, revolutionising the way that gyms are managed.
Eric Taylor, a former hacker, reveals what he's learned about cybersecurity. Taylor's life as a hacker began when he was just 12 years old and playing video games at home. Russian hackers are notorious for their hacking skills, but one American says he hacked a Russian cyber gang at just 15 years old. The government eventually caught up with Taylor and he pleaded guilty to posting the personal information on the internet, among other charges. Eric Taylor, who went by the nickname Cosmo the God, also posted personal information of celebrities and government officials, including Michelle Obama, former CIA director John Brennan, Kim Kardashian and Tiger Woods. Taylor recently became an advisor to cybersecurity start-up Path which helps companies make sure their websites are properly loading around the globe.
There's no doubt that blockchain technology is a powerful tool for the enterprise, but bringing it mainstream has not been without challenges. As VP of Technology at 8base, Andrei is working to make developing a blockchain application accessible to anyone. With better tools, entrepreneurs and developers can work together to quickly and effectively launch applications that integrate smart contracts and blockchain technology. This will ultimately accelerate blockchain adoption on a global scale.
As the fourth industrial revolution continues to march forward, key questions remain related to the protection of software, cloud, AI, and automation intellectual property. Recent developments in Supreme Court and lower court case law will be reviewed to explain the intricacies of what inventions are eligible for patent protection, how copyright law may be used to protect application programming interfaces (APIs), and the extent to which trademark and trade secret law may have expanded relevance to the cloud. Best practices for intellectual property protection, licensing, and other topics will be presented, including checklists for engineers, product managers, sales/marketing, and other constituencies. Drawing upon his pre-lawyer life as a product manager for cloud based products, the presenter will emphasize those topics believed to be most practically relevant.

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Big Data Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

MAHADEV
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MCCARTHY
Bsquare

FELICIANO
AMDG

PAUL
VenueNext

SMITH
Eviot

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ReadyTalk

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VARAN-
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GE

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METRIC
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MONTES
Iced

ARIOLA
Parasoft

HOLT
Daitan

CUNNING-
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ReadyTalk

BEDRO-
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Cypress

NAMIE
Cisco

NAKA-
GAWA

Transparent
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SHIBATA
Transparent
Cloud

BOYD
Neo4j

WARD
DWE

MILLER
Covisint

EVAVOLD
Covisint

MEINER
Oracle

MEEHAN
Esri

WITECK
Citrix

LIANG
Rancher Labs

BUTLER
Tego

ROWE
IBM Cloud

SKILLERN
Intel

SMITH
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HGST

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WALLGREN
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RANDALL
Gartner

ARMSTRONG
AppNeta

SMALLTREE
Cazena

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

DELOACH
Infobright

QUINT
Ontegrity

MALAUCHLAN
Buddy Platform

PALIOTTA
Vector

MITRA
Cognizant

KOCHER
Grey Heron

PAPDO
POULOS

Cloud9

HARLAN
Two Bulls

GOLO
SHUBIN

Bit6

PROIETTI
Location
Smart

MARTIN
nfrastructure

MOULINE
Everbridge

MARSH
Blue Pillar

PARKS
SecureRF

PEROTTI
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HOFFMAN
EastBanc

WATSON
Trendalyze

BENSONOFF
Unigma

SHAN
CTS

MATTELA
Redpine

GILLEN
Spark
Coginition

SOLT
Netvibes

BERNARDO
GE Digital

ROMANSKY
TrustPoint

BEAMER
GoTransverse

LESTER
LogMeIn

PONO
-MAREVA

Google

SINGH
Sencha

CALKINS
Amadeus

KLEIN
Rachio

HOASIN
Aeris

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PHEMI

SPROULE
Metavine

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Falconstor

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Big Data Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

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Luxoft

TAMBURINI
Autodesk

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

THURAI
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TURNER
Cloudian

ENDO
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Transparent

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COOPER
M2Mi

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GREENE
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HP

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

STEINER-JOVIC
AweSense

LYNN
AgilData

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Cloudata

DUFOUR
Webroot

ROBERTS
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NIELSEN
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DataArchon

KAHN
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MapR

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TRELOAR
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Red Hat
Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

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CHOU
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Cloudian

KUMAR
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ADAMIAK
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KHAN
Solgenia

BONIFAZI
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SUSSMAN
Coalfire

ISAACSON
RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

HEABERLIN
Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


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Digital Transformation Blogs
​Blockchain, also known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), can be used for more than just crypto currencies. This presentation discusses how blockchain and the Internet of Things (IOT) can be used for several supply chain management and logistics use cases. Real world examples that utilize the open source project Hyperledger will be discussed.
Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making Perfect Gym Solutions one of the largest and fastest growing SaaS applications in the fitness industry. Their platform is a comprehensive package of modern modular products for the management of fitness clubs, sports facilities and gyms an end- to end solution, revolutionising the way that gyms are managed.
Eric Taylor, a former hacker, reveals what he's learned about cybersecurity. Taylor's life as a hacker began when he was just 12 years old and playing video games at home. Russian hackers are notorious for their hacking skills, but one American says he hacked a Russian cyber gang at just 15 years old. The government eventually caught up with Taylor and he pleaded guilty to posting the personal information on the internet, among other charges. Eric Taylor, who went by the nickname Cosmo the God, also posted personal information of celebrities and government officials, including Michel...