New group for small-cell app makers

The Small Cell Forum and platform provider Aepona launched a new developer community Tuesday aimed at expanding the development of mobile apps and services for small cells.
 
The industry group said on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it has developed a suite of developer resources, including a developer forum, APIs, application specifications, tutorials, code samples, a sandbox to test code, and information on use cases.
 
Andy Germano, the Small Cell Forum’s Vice-Chairman and head of the Services Working Group, said that “rocketing” uptake of small cells (particularly femto cells) is creating a serious revenue opportunity for operators.
 
“Intelligent cells that can wake up apps when a user is in a precise geographical place could be a boon to thousands of existing applications as well as drive the development of thousands more new apps,” he said.
 
Germano added that such small cell based services are already starting to appear, citing a service in Japan that alerts parents when their children arrive home from school.
 
“But we recognize that the development community needs more tools, tips and information in order to get their teeth into this new market,” he said.
 
The launch of the developer community for small cell apps follows comes on the heels of news earlier this month that the Small Cell Forum had struck cooperation agreement with the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) to develop global open API standards for small cells.
 
Meanwhile, the Small Cell Forum also announced it had published a whitepaper providing a overview of the opportunities and challenges facing integrated small cell and Wi-Fi Networks in residential, enterprise and metro deployments, as well as a guide to enterprise femtocell deployment best practices.

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