Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) on Tuesday announced a new business, dubbed the Services Marketplace, aimed at helping telecommunications operators adopt new, innovative services for their users.
The company already has 200 services registered with its marketplace and can help any mobile network operator offer them to users.
The way it works is HP can consult with an operator at first, gaining a profile of the services they already offer and suggesting new ones that might fit their users' needs. HP can then help an operator deploy the service, including troubleshooting to ensure the service runs smoothly on the operator's network, and providing the necessary software and hardware, such as servers.
"We can even find cost efficient ways to test new services. HP can run and host a service for the operator to reduce risk, and if the service is accepted, then HP can help deploy it," said Peter Svanberg, director of the mobile solutions network and service provider business at HP.
The idea is to enable mobile network operators to deploy new services in a speedy fashion, and get fun, new services to users so they can try them out. Svanberg noted that HP seeks ideas from all over the world, enabling small companies with innovative service ideas to reach new markets quickly, as well as moving services across cultures.
Japan and South Korea, for example, are two places where a lot of innovative mobile phone service ideas come from, he said. HP can translate those services to other parts of the world quickly, providing a variety of new ideas for users.
One mobile phone executive lamented that developing new services, including games, is a big problem for his company.
"I think this is the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge for mobile phone service providers," said Lu Xiangdong, a member of the board of directors at China Mobile (Hong Kong), the world's largest operator at 231 million subscribers.