The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) wants to make it a lot easier for developers to build mobile applications that span multiple networks managed by a wide variety of carriers and other operators of mobile network services.
A new Lightweight Machine-to-Machine (LwM2M) toolkit based on OMA specifications and an API that OMA intends to formally unveil next month at Mobile World Congress 2015 promises to make it simpler for developers to navigate mobile 4G networks as part of a bid to spur the development of a new generation of mobile applications.
Joaquin Prado, director of technical programs for OMA, says unlike the fragmented world of telecommunications standards that confronted developers when they tried to build mobile applications for 3G networks, OMA is moving to standardize the LwM2M in a way that is independent of programming languages. The LwM2M toolkit at its core provides a simple object-based resource model along with support for a variety of data formats, including JSON.
The LwM2M Object & Resource online editor included in the toolkit will enable developers to create data objects in addition to providing pointers to open source initiatives based on OMA Technical Specifications.
Prado says the OMA is especially keen on standardizing interfaces to 4G networks. One of the reasons 3G networks took so long to find mainstream adoption was a lack of applications.
A new report from Cisco forecasts that by 2019, 26 percent of all global devices and connections will be 4G capable. The number of 4G connections globally will grow to three billion by 2019. According to Cisco, in 2014, the average 4G connection generated 2.2 GB of mobile data traffic per month; by 2019, the average 4G connection will generate 5.5 GB of mobile data traffic per month.
Founding members of OMA include Alcatel-Lucent, Comverse, CSR, Friendly Technologies, HOP Ubiquitous, Mformation, Netcomm Wireless, Red Bend Software, Red Stone Sunshine, Smith Micro, Vodafone, Vuzix, and Zelitron. Prado says that as developers continue to build, for example, geospatial applications that span multiple networks, there is a growing need to standardize the way mobile applications access network resources. According to Prado, the end result should lead to a standardization of the service layer that developers access across those networks to the benefit of everything from smartphones to new forms of machine-to-machine (M2M) platforms involving connected cars.
Naturally, it will be awhile before all the attributes of the LwM2M toolkit are finalized. But from a developer perspective, the toolkit clearly represents a step in the right 4G direction.