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Vodafone Shakes up its Own Mobile Apps Platform

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Vodafone has announced a shake up of its mobile services platform and will be providing application developers a single point to access the mobile portal for all its operations, regardless of which country the customer, or developer is based in.

Developers will only need to negotiate with a single Vodafone point to place their applications on the global marketplace, and will be able to charge for it directly through Vodafone's billing system. This is aimed at providing internet content partners, such as the media or game developers, with a cost-efficient and effective micro-payments system to reach all customers on mobile devices.

Vodafone will also provide partners and developers with customer controlled access to other network capabilities, such as location based services. Vodafone is making the enhancements through the creation of a set of network Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which will enable developers to build capabilities such as direct billing and location awareness into their services. The APIs, which provide a link between the applications and the Vodafone network capabilities, will work across the entire Vodafone footprint thanks to a new layer of management technology based on Service Oriented Architecture.

"Vodafone is making these changes to make it easier for third parties to develop attractive new services as well as bill and support our customers through our network capabilities in all markets," said Vittorio Colao CEO of Vodafone. "By giving them simple access to our global customer base and network assets, such as direct billing and location awareness, we will help them to make more money while providing our customers with the innovative services that they want."

Vodafone will start to offer access to selected network enablers through the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) initiative which is also supported by Verizon Wireless, Softbank Mobile and China Mobile. JIL is due to release a website and a Software Developer Kit in the summer.

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