#MWC11 – Telefonica's head of R&D on how startups could innovate on carrier platforms (TCTV)

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Telefonica has a big reach. It is the the world’s third largest operator behind China Mobile and Vodafone. But while everyone is talking about the massive shift in the world of mobile eco-systems, as Nokia and Microsoft get into bed together, it’s less widely known that Telefonica is embracing the radical shift towards the long tail of developers and startups epitomised by the new world of apps and app stores.

To that end it’s recently launched a developer platform called BlueVia . This enables developers to tie their applications or mobile websites into APIs which can enable carrier billing, user profiling or even analytics. The big shift is that developers are charged nothing to use the APIs. The revenue split is also pretty good: 70% if your application is in their own App Store, and you get 70% of subscription fees if the app uses recurring billing. You can also reap 20% of incoming SMS fees, and 10% of outgoing SMS fees. So SMS-enable you app, tie it in to BlueVia and start watching the cash roll in. Well, maybe!

The first features are available with O2 Litmus in the UK, Open MovilForum in Spain, Movistar Developers Platform in Mexico and Plataforma do Desenvolvedores Vivo in Brazil. But a roll-out is planned globally and it’s tied into the OneAPI platform promoted across carriers by the GSMA. BlueVia represents a smart way for Telefonica to interact with startups and app developers – because it represents a revenue opportunity for apps outside of just the normal App store approach and can actually sit along side apps.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I caught up with Carlos Domingo, head of research and development at Telefonica and asked not not only about BlueVia but also about where the carriers will fit in the brave new world of the mobile eco-systems.

  • http://twitter.com/hatchbrands HatchBrands

    Telefonica seems to be one of the leaders promoting innovation among telcos… Good .

  • Guest1234

    It is absolutely impossible for a company like Telefonica to make this shift. Do not misunderstand me, the company is great making money with a clever timing on infrastructures investments, exploitation of old systems and, the most important, operations on 3rd world countries errrr… emerging countries sorry! (where there’s not enough competition and people will pay a lot for the worst service).
    The contributions of the company to the international networking efforts is known as totally absent and their care of the customer is much less according to my friends in Spain experience. With this history is hard to believe they want anything good for developers, they are just copying what they saw successful for marketing purposes …
    Summary: all this is a huge marketing action where press releases and articles are much more important than any other thing. Congratulations for them anyway to appear here, because I am sure that was the solely objective.

    • guest

      Are you referring to emerging countries examples like UK or Germany, the main focus of Telefonica O2? Do you really think that there is not enough competition in emerging countries like Brasil ? Sorry but I think you have not clear how is the current market of Telefonica…

      • L Rache

        Please, let me know only one worldwide service in which Telefonica has been the first company to launch and innovate it. Do not tell me anything about the deployment of new network innovation or capabilities that are really developed by equipment manufacturers. Yes, the competition in Brazil is huge, but Telefonica compite in price and service, not in innovation. And Telefonica compite with other telco like Telefonica, not with innovative companies.

      • Guest1234

        Guess you’d rather worry more on your total lack of self critique skills rather than my modest view of your market …

        Regarding your nice talk on Brazil competition and therefore quality offered to the end-user, you seem to forget that “in 2009, after four big “blackouts” on Telefónica’s broadband “Speedy”, ANATEL ordered Telefónica to stop sales of its broadband service until improvements were made on the infrastructure to provide better quality service.” (search in google for more references).
        Spanish broadband DSL service is also one of the worse in terms of speed/price ratio (not tried myself, but been told a lot on this) although Spain is not an emerging, is it?
        Hope you don’t really believe O2 is making your day in terms of overall benefits too …

        Telefonica is great making cash and providing dividends to investors. So far innovation, technology excellence/vision and partnerships&collaboration has not been the core at all.

    • Guest

      Indeed, as an employee of TEF I can only agree with these comments.

  • http://blog.bluevia.com/2011/02/17/techcrunch-interview-with-bluevia/ TechCrunch Interview with BlueVia « Bluevia Blog

    […]     Carlos Domingo (@carlosdmonigo), head of research and development at Telefonica, was interviewed by TechCrunch while at Mobile World Congress. He was asked not only about BlueVia but also about where carriers will fit in the brave new world of the mobile eco-systems. Watch the video below for the full interview or read the original article on TechCrunch. […]

  • http://www.angelmendez.es/2011/03/13/bluevia-o-como-telefonica-espera-ganarse-a-los-desarrolladores/ BlueVia, o cómo Telefónica espera ganarse a los desarrolladores : Wishful thinking…

    […] razones suficientes para empezar a experimentar con BlueVia? Quizás. Y digo quizás porque veo los siguientes […]

  • http://www.ibegyourparton.co.uk/2011/02/17/a-quick-wrap-up-from-mwc-2011/ A quick wrap up from MWC 2011 « I Beg Your Parton

    […] can read more on the BlueVia blog, but some highlights from the past 10 days include our first press release, our first case studies demonstrating how developers are beginning to use the BlueVia platform, […]

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