Why AT&T’s world revolves around integrated devices

Jul 12, 2010
Tech

While the Mayan calendar anticipates that the end of the world as we know it will occur in 2012, AT&T is planning for a human reality that revolves around mobile integration. “The whole thing starts to meld together,” said John Donovan, chief technology officer with AT&T Operations, who added that consumers will embrace devices that […]

While the Mayan calendar anticipates that the end of the world as we know it will occur in 2012, AT&T is planning for a human reality that revolves around mobile integration.

“The whole thing starts to meld together,” said John Donovan, chief technology officer with AT&T Operations, who added that consumers will embrace devices that offer universal compatibility for voice, video, enterprise and consumer applications. In short. there will no longer be a market for devices with singular functions.

Donovan delivered the July 12 morning keynote address at MobileBeat 2010. A carrier partner of virtually every leading device and mobile operating system – including, of course, an exclusive relationship (for now) with Apple and the iPhone – Donovan on behalf of AT&T was not inclined to pick any individual favorites in the mobile media horse race. Rather, he gave the crowd of several hundred mobile executives and application developers insight as to how the pioneer in global electronic communication views the next two years in mobile media development.

“The lines are getting blurred at the services level,” he said. “In a complicated world where a device doesn’t have to be a TV and doesn’t have to be a phone, we need to deliver the oxygen that allows everything to live.”

While AT&T has grown to support hundreds of thousands of mobile communications – from only 1,500 “vending machine”-based apps only four years ago – Donovan believes we are still in just the early stages of the consumer adoption growth curve.

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As  AT&T and other carriers continue to invest in the infrastructure to handle these unprecedented traffic demands, differentiation – at least in the app space – moving forward will be as much of an art as it is a science.

“In the app space, the design is under-appreciated,” Donovan said. “Over time as we add more capacity, the rare skill will be in the design rather than the development.”

Stay tuned.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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