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Recognising the telecoms apps developer

So says industry luminary Alan Quayle, who has just launched the Telecom Applications Developer Manifesto in advance of a new event designed to highlight the role 'telecoms apps' (as opposed to mobile apps) could or should be playing in the development of the telecoms industry.

The event is called TADS (Telecom Applications Developer Summit) and it's due to take place in Bangkok, 21-22 November 2013.

One of the foci of the event will be to amend and endorse the Telecom Applications Developer Manifesto which, Quayle says, is a no-nonsense 'state of the telecoms nation' statement of intent. (read it here).

The idea he says, is to deliver a wake-up call to the telecoms industry which (I paraphrase) needs to get over itself. There is no sense in chasing after the mobile app developer market which is all about scale and global audiences and which - it's easy to forget with all the hand-wringing - has made a fortune for telcos in mobile broadband.

Instead of ineffectually fighting the OTTs, telcos - through their applications developers - should be learning all they can about online marketing, scale, IP, open source and virtualisation so they can apply it to their local markets.

Quayle says it's time to forget the rivalries and recognise that the IP is already here and dominant, so telcos need to work out how THEY can make best use of the scale, low cost, reach and agility IP has already clearly brought to the OTT players.

The answer, says Quayle, is to really start valuing the thousands of telecoms application developers - many of whom already work within telcos. Second - realise the power of being 'on the ground' and able to focus on the customer. Telcos can and will develop enterprise and other apps by being customer-centric: "the Apples and the Googles just can't to that."

"We've got to move away from monolithic voice messaging services," he told me. "The summit will be all about the people that are building apps today, using hard-won experience."

So why Bangkok?

"A lot of innovation in this area today is in Asia. We wanted to break with the idea that the West is where all the cool stuff is. It would have been easier to do it in London, but there's actually more cool stuff outside the West. So that's where we're going.

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