Context-Aware Services

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July 15, 2010 by huionn

Today my colleague send me the link of mYprize 4G Global Developer Challenge

7 years ago, I spent over one year in researching context-aware services platform for 3G network as my master research topic in Nokia 3G Lab in MMU (which i sadly failed to complete). At that time, 3G services were so hyped up – it was overpromising but under-delivering. As somebody said, 3G is technology-driven instead of market-driven. But still I believe there are huge opportunity in context-aware services.

As related to context-awareness, I was particularly interested in ‘Parlay/OSA’. It is an open API for external service providers to access services/infrastructures in telephone network.

‘Parlay/OSA’ is an open API  for the telephone network. It is developed by The Parlay Group, which works closely with ETSI and 3GPP, which all co-publish it. Within 3GPP, Parlay is part of Open Services Architecture.

source: wikipedia

After so many years, 3G is mostly being used as broadband for browsing and no much innovation in services. Imo, there are a few factors:

  1. due to business nature of telcos (security, privacy etc), they are not as open as internet service providers. They are more reluctant to open their services to external service providers.
  2. 3G data usage is costly. This results in no real “always-on” of mobile internet users which is a prerequisite for many services.
  3. Afaik, there is no way to provide “push” services to subscribers.

Seeing the popularity of Web 2.0 and emergence of CEP/ESP (complex event processing and event stream processing), if 4G can overcome the shortcomings of 3G and provide open platform for service development, I truly believe that context-aware services are going to revolutize our life in future.


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