MOSQUITO will help identify barriers of fragmentation which could prevent the full development of mobile internet applications and services. MOSQUITO will support the standardization of mobile internet services and promote collaboration in the industry. MOSQUITO will support actions relating to interoperability for mobile applications and services. MOSQUITO will give its support to the cross-sector convergence of IT, Telecoms and Media within the context of mobile internet applications and services.
Understanding the challenge
Mobile applications and services are important components of the future internet, in particular when broadband is going to be more mobile. This field was considered for years as one of the most promising fields, but the critical mass of services and applications has not been realised due to Standardisation, Interoperability, Quality and Convergence; issues which will be addressed by the MOSQUITO project.
Indeed, the internet is going to be massively "mobile" as it is expected that mobile internet users will top 1.7 billion by 2013, increasing greatly from the current figure of 577 million. The future of Mobile Internet Services is however becoming increasingly dependent on the mobile applications business which is plagued by the critical and recurrent issue of fragmentation. For instance, mobile application developers using the Java platform are often forced to build over one hundred versions of the same application, in order to increase the number of mobile phone users capable of using their applications and in the process spending 60-80% of their development budget. The reasons for this include: phone hardware, platform, implementation, middleware, network, territorial, linguistic, cultural and distribution channel differences. This makes corrective maintenance almost impossible, meaning that the number of services successfully introduced over fragmented platforms is very small.
The fragmentation of standards is a very dynamic phenomenon. MOSQUITO aims to help define a sustainable level of fragmentation, which will not act as a barrier to the full development of the mobile phones applications market. Facilitating entrance to the market will attract developers, in particular SMEs, to develop mobile internet services through standardised open (source) platforms and interfaces.
Fragmentation and Convergence
The convergence and interoperability between wired and mobile networks on audio, TV, music, multimedia services and other medias are very important topics for the development of future mobile internet services. The example of Google Android demonstrates the strategy of interoperable applications development, as it is able to work on mobiles and PC's. In contrast other developers such as Microsoft tend to develop different operating systems such as Windows 7 for PCs and Windows Mobile. MOSQUITO aims to encourage a strategy of convergence and interoperability by liaising with all standardisation related groups on mobile applications and providing support to key convergence and interoperability issues as well as testing standards and organising interoperability event.
Competition and Innovation
A more competitive environment that includes infrastructure operators who are moving up the value chain, with innovative service offerings on scalable infrastructure and high added value services through online platforms (application stores) enabling "third party generated applications".
The project will deliver an in-depth analysis of the fragmentation of the mobile platforms, and how this impacts the development of mobile application and service. This will help decision makers, technology strategists and other interested parties in the mobile industry, building plans and solutions to overcome the fragmentation.
In the area of industry standards and initiatives, the project is expected to serve as an incentive to create some new workgroups defining the missing functional, integration and test specifications. The project will help and support activities relating to the improvement of consistency inside standards based platforms and to the harmonization across all platforms.
The project expects to maximise its impact by helping and supporting open source initiatives against fragmentation in the first stage.
Looking forward, also in the area of industry standards and initiatives, the project is expected to serve as an additional input in favour of reform of the usual standards practices and procedures.
Fragmentation issues and resolutions will be communicated transparently to the industry and the resulting knowledge sharing will begin to reduce the extent of these issues.
The objective of MOSQUITO is to promote a virtuous win-win development which will not only help in creating the right conditions for a booming development in the Mobile Internet applications and services market, but will also help develop European leadership in the Future Internet. Despite being the world leader for the mobile industry for the last 20 years, North America is leading the internet services market. Through collaborating with Chinese partners and laying out key collaborative strategies, Europe can try to ensure that it will strategically win the race for the Future Internet Service.