Mobile Platform providers have understood the key role operator have still to play in the application business. They are approaching operators to be able to use opetrators’ billing for their application store.
Microsoft started with Windows Mobile 6.5 and now Google is doing the same with Sprint in the US and will expand it to other regions in the coming months.
Operators’ key asset beyond the pipe is their billing system. Unfortunately these billing system are most of the time obsolete and bulky, build on Cobol / Mainframe infrastructure.
Operators have here a unique opportunity to have their cut on the application business and get back at the centre of the game. Now it’s a question of IT agility. Usually not their most developed skill.