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MWC: Towards app effeciency

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, the GSMA has announced a developer’s guide to help programmers write more user and network friendly mobile apps.

The GSMA has announced the first in a series of activities designed to help users and operators manage the growing traffic and signalling demands generated by smartphones and mobile applications. The GSMA has created a developer’s guide which will help application developers ensure their applications are more user- and network-friendly. Along with this guide, the GSMA is launching the ‚Smarter Apps Challenge‚ competition to drive the development of efficient mobile applications.

‚The widespread adoption of smartphones and the explosion in mobile applications has forever changed the way that users communicate, access and share information,‚ said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. ‚At the same time, this dynamic presents new challenges for mobile operators as they manage increasing traffic volumes on their networks, and more importantly, dramatically increased signalling loads. The new programmes announced today will help boost the efficiency of applications and networks and offer a better experience for users.‚

Smarter Apps for Smarter Phones

Consumer demand for innovative smartphone applications has grown dramatically over the past few years: there are now more than 1 million apps available worldwide and more than 19,000 new applications are being added each week, according to mobile analytics firm Distimo. This high demand for and heavy use of mobile applications has resulted in a greatly increased signalling load at the network level, compared with a relatively low amount of data traffic. A driver behind this increased signalling load is the proliferation of ‚network-unfriendly‚ applications that are not optimised for mobile networks: mobile networks have their own specific requirements and constraints, and applications written for fixed networks may not necessarily perform well in the mobile world.

The GSMA has established a taskforce of 22 operators who will be working with all areas of the mobile application ecosystem, including application developers, OS vendors, app store owners, handset makers and network equipment providers. Backed by mobile operators including Bharti Airtel, KT Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Rogers Communications, Telecom Italia, TeliaSonera, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom and Vodafone, the GSMA released a set of recommendations for application developers that will enable improvements across a number of areas including application connectivity, power consumption, network reliability and security. By following the guidelines, developers will be better equipped to create fit-for-purpose apps: mobile operators will see a reduced strain on their networks: and users will experience more responsive and reliable apps and improved battery life. For a copy of these guidelines, please visit

‚As the initial proponent of the GSMA’s work on Application Efficiency, KT believes that GSMA plays a critical role in leading this global initiative,‚ said Dr. Hyun-Myung Pyo, President of the Mobile Business Group of KT and Board Member of the GSMA. ‚With the explosive growth of smartphone users, smarter management of network resources is becoming very critical to provide the best user experience for all. It should be the collective efforts of all ecosystem players, and KT is fully committed in leading the initiative to achieve more efficient use of network resources.‚

‚Orange supports this new GSMA initiative around application efficiency, and we believe that by working together, we will act in the best interests of our customers,‚ said Jean-Paul Cottet, Senior Executive Vice President, Group Marketing and Innovation, Orange.

GSMA Launches Developer Competition

To incentivise developers to implement these recommendations and create more efficient mobile applications, GSMA today launched the ‚Smarter Apps Challenge‚ developer competition. This challenge calls on all developers to submit their commercially available mobile apps, on any platform, that meet the growing market need for greater efficiency as defined in the GSMA guidelines. Judges will identify the top three most efficient mobile applications and winners will be announced at the GSMA Mobile Asia Expo taking place in Shanghai, 20-22 June 2012. Winners will receive cash and other awards, including a trip to the Mobile Asia Expo. For full criteria, eligibility and other information, please visit


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