New standard will make mobiles easier to customise

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New standard will make mobiles easier to customise

A forthcoming update to the Open Mobile Alliance Device Management (OMA DM) standard for mobile phones will make it easier for users to personalise their handset, for which there is enormous potential demand, according to Mformation.

The device management specialist has published a survey showing that mobile applications and services will see much greater uptake if users have more opportunity to customise their handset.

Mformation's survey of 4,000 mobile users in the UK and US found that 80 per cent would make more use of mobile services if a greater degree of personalisation were possible.

Mobile services also need to be simplified, according to the research. While email, web browsing and picture messaging are gaining in popularity, the survey found that many people who do not currently use such applications would do if access were easier.

Matt Bancroft, Mformation vice president, said that operators have a strong role to play in making this happen, and stand to gain as many respondents indicated that they would switch carrier and be prepared to pay extra for the ability to customise their handset.

Bancroft suggested that the OMA DM extensions, due to be ratified in 2009, will enable users of feature phones to customise their handset as much as high-end smartphone users already can.

"In essence, the update adds a new managed object defined for delivery, installation, activation and management of applications," he said.

The new extension, called Software Component Management Object, is already available as a pre-ratified version in Mformation's management tools for mobile operators, according to Bancroft.

"It also means profound things for software developers. A billion and a half mobile phones are sold each year, so there will be a much broader market for applications in the next 12-18 months once this standard becomes available," he said.
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