Optus trials new mobile platform

Optus trials new mobile platform

Summary: Optus last week acknowledged it had evaluated a platform that claims to use the processing power of "smart" phone handsets to deploy and run applications more effectively than browser-based alternatives.

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TOPICS: Telcos, Mobility, Optus
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Optus last week acknowledged it had evaluated a platform that claims to use the processing power of "smart" phone handsets to deploy and run applications more effectively than browser-based alternatives.

The platform, a product of software vendor Action Engine, which Optus said it trialled from mid-June to the end of July this year, does away with the current so-called 'browser' approach to mobile phone content in favour of a client-server approach, according to Paul Mulvenna, the company's Asia regional business director.

The Optus trial involved Windows Mobile 2003-based devices such as O2's XDA II, XDA IIs and XDA mini phones, according to a spokesperson from the telco. Mulvenna said Optus had been examining community-focused applications on his company's platform.

"What I've been working with Optus on ... they were basically looking at things like an employee directory, community bulletin boards, " he told ZDNet Australia.

He said the technology could be easily implemented by Optus on a significant proportion of its customers' existing handsets, especially those running more sophisticated mobile operating systems like Windows Mobile and Symbian. For end customers, such a rollout would come in the form of a download that would facilitate the operation of Action Engine's software.

"We find with most telcos, we can target about 35 to 40 percent of their addressable market," said Mulvenna.

Optus' spokesperson would not comment on the likelihood of the company implementing the platform, although the company's director of business marketing Paul Kitchin expressed positive sentiments in a statement released in conjunction with Action Engine.

"Action Engine's platform delivers important usability criteria, including responsiveness, number of keystrokes, navigational features, personalisation capabilities, and a consistent user interface design," he said.

Mulvenna said Action Engine was so far only working with Optus locally, as he was targeting one 'showcase' telco per country in the South-East Asian region.

However, he noted, "we're getting traction across the globe ... other US and European telcos are running Action Engine trials and market evaluations presently."

"Some of those broader US and European activities may impact operators in Australia and New Zealand," he said.

The company's software has been deployed by international players including US-based Sprint, Orange and hardware vendor O2.

Topics: Telcos, Mobility, Optus

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