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Battle of the Carrier Innovation CentersBattle of the Carrier Innovation Centers

It's a face-off between AT&T and Verizon's application and LTE innovation centers as the operators strive to attract developers

Sarah Thomas

May 23, 2011

3 Min Read
Battle of the Carrier Innovation Centers

Wireless operators know they need to do a better job working with developers to build applications for their Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, and they're showing their commitment with facilities to welcome them in and foster innovation. These Innovation Centers are more than just window dressing too, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless want developers to know. To make their case, last week both carriers talked up in Texas some prototypes that they've built through their respective Innovation Centers -- AT&T at a tour of its Foundry Facility in Plano and Verizon during a keynote address at the TIA 2011 show in Grapevine. (See Verizon Breaks Ground on LTE Innovation Center and AT&T's Dapper Den for App Developers.)

AT&T has had its Apps creation station up and running in a former Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) plant in Plano since February. Jon Summers, AT&T's SVP of application and service infrastructure, invited LR Mobile there last week to share some real-life success stories from its work with developers. Click the picture below to launch a slide show inside the developer den and read on for AT&T's favorite creations to date.

  • AT&T has been working with Apigee to find ways to expose its network and billing APIs [application programming interfaces] faster.

  • Developer Sencha is helping AT&T build an HTML 5 software development kit. As with Apigee, AT&T sought out Sencha to help it translate Web apps to consumer services.

  • On the video front, AT&T is working with developers to turn mobile phones and other devices into servers for its IPTV service U-Verse and to build companion viewing experiences on the phone. Developers are also collaborating to help simplify the U-Verse bill into a video format.

Verizon houses its LTE Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass, and plans to open an Application Innovation Center in San Francisco this summer. Both will feature labs for testing new services and experience centers for showcasing them. The carrier already has more than 60 developers and over 30 prototypes near ready for launching as services, according to Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CTO Tony Melone, who shared a few examples with TIA attendees in his keynote address last week. (See TIA: Verizon Sees Need for Speed.)

  • The first is Live Edge, a product for the video industry that integrates an LTE device into a standard TV camera to transmit live high-definition TV back to video studios anywhere an LTE network is present. The technology negates the need for time-consuming microwave or satellite shots.

  • The second prototype is Media Tile, a portable kiosk that connects consumers with a live service representative. It's being targeted at the retail industry and verticals such as banking and health care.

  • Melone's third example was of a high-resolution SLR camera used by remote field operations and utility workers out on site that can automatically share images over the LTE network.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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