The growth engine for wireless operators for the foreseeable future is data--and with AT&T's wireless data revenues accounting for 27.4 percent of the company's total revenue, you can see why Mark Collins' job as senior vice president of voice and data products is so critical for the company.
Collins is a big believer in supporting all operating systems and all app stores. And he has been a champion for opening up the company's billing APIs and letting third parties sell their content to consumers. His philosophy is simple: He thinks AT&T's (NYSE:T) role is to enable others to build apps and sell content--like Amazon.com does on the Internet.
But Collins faces a tough challenge in the year ahead. With AT&T's impending loss of its exclusivity with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for the iPhone, the carrier will have to continue to innovate in order to retain its position in the wireless data craze.
One way AT&T plans to do that is through its continued support of mobile app developers. The company has invested $70 million in the development of three innovation centers around the world with the goal of helping speed the development of creative mobile apps.