Network operator O2 has chosen Pinpoint’s Fuel platform for managing relationships with third party application providers.
Fuel will enable members of O2’s Revolution development programme to submit their applications for trial and deployment over the web. Once an application has been approved by O2’s internal team, a process which takes around three weeks, the Fuel platform manages the revenue sharing relationship with the application developer. The Revolution programme will initially support WAP and SMS, with J2ME and MMS scheduled for introduction in the next few months, and require a GBP 750 annual registration fee. Applications submitted through the system will be made available via a directory on O2’s web-site, the O2 WAP portal and its text messaging service.
“With the launch of Revolution, source O2 continues to focus on providing a route to market for application developers to enable them to generate revenue from O2 customers who buy their products and services,” said Bradley Desouza, Vice President, Research and Development at O2. “We are delighted to be working with Pinpoint to create this mobile application ecosystem.” Jud Bowman, president and CEO of Pinpoint, added: “We are very excited to license the Fuel Platform to O2, to deliver a unified solution for Source O2, their developers, and O2 customers. The Fuel platform provides O2 with the tools to efficiently manage third party applications and seamlessly deliver a rich and growing set of mobile applications to O2 customers.”
O2’s commitment to streamlining the process of deploying third party applications is admirable, but the manner of its implementation leaves much to be desired. What on earth is it thinking introducing a GBP 750 annual fee to get access to this system? This sends out completely the wrong message to third party developers and will stifle innovation at the grass-roots level. If O2 is going to insist on charging a fee, then surely it would encourage more developers to participate if it was levied once the application had been approved?
The lack of transparency over revenue-sharing is also dissappointing and flies in the face of wisdom gained from successful mobile internet services such as i-Mode. The final, and perhaps most serious, problem is the absence of a proper timetable for the introduction of MMS and Java support. Java handsets have been available for over a year and there are now two MMS handsets on the market in the UK. These two technologies are the most likely to result in truly compelling mobile services and it is unacceptable not to support them from day one.
Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.