Don’t misunderstand me: I don’t think neither the introduction of LiMo 2 devices is a revolution nor the social networks features it introduces (mainly centralize all your web contacts in one place). OK, these are nice features but nothing ground breaking. You can find Social Networks oriented devices like those of INQ and Linux powered devices.
The real revolution Vodafone seems to introduce is a real Telco 2.0 framework: with Vodafone 360, third parties will be able to use Vodafone internal API.
Developers will be able to charge for service directly from Vodafone billing system. It could a one-off charge or a service subscription. Vodafone customers will pay the service or application on their phone bill. It is breaking the “100 man-days development wall”, as usually you cannot introduce a new service in an operator billing system below these 100 man-days.
The next steps for Vodafone 360 will be to offer core network API like location, presence, and the centralized Vodafone address book. In doing so, Vodafone will embed developers within its ecosystem in such a seamless way that:
- Developers will create new outstanding network centric services only on Vodafone
- Vodafone will take the lead against OS vendor / manufacturers application stores that cannot offer network centric services
- Consumers will see Vodafone as an innovative brand
By opening the APIs Vodafone will create value and differentiation. By controling them, Vodafone will control its ecosystem and keep a good share of the generated value.