Wireless Carrier & OEM
Tools
Being able to interpret what you hear into an actionable product roadmap is all part of the planning stage in user-guided development.

Tools for dealing with Carriers and Device OEMs

With the proliferation of smartphones, mobile operators and the phone manufacturers have seen an increased user base. As you look to get feedback from your users, leveraging the tools that these companies offer is one of the many ways to get user feedback. Whether it’s using the subscriber segmentation tools, API connections or communications channels, here are a few of the tools that you should keep in mind.

Generic Tools

Here are some common tools and terms that you’d be expected to know as you approach a telco carrier or device manufacturer with a partnership opportunity.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATION COMMISSION (FCC)
“The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The FCC maintains a variety of publicly-accessible tools and applications to help consumers and entities that do business with us or need FCC-related information interact with us efficiently and effectively.”
SMS & SHORT CODES

Text messaging is a great way to reach users. In order to establish long-term text messaging relationships, or if you want users to be able to reply, you’ll want to set up a shortcode with the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA). The process is simple but can be pricey depending on your code and how long you need it for. Alternatively, there are services that over IP solutions (using the data network) and Push Notifications that can also be used to reach users.

TWILIO
“Twilio powers the future of business communications, enabling phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software. We take care of the messy telecom hardware and expose a globally available cloud API that developers can interact with to build intelligent & complex communications systems. As your app’s usage scales up or down, Twilio automatically scales with you. You only pay for what you use – no contracts, no shenanigans.”
URBAN AIRSHIP
“Urban Airship offers easy and effective end-to-end management of the push messaging process from customer and location targeting, to automation and delivery, including message composition, rich landing page, and Passbook pass creation, as well as analytics to optimize effectiveness. Its focus on best practices for marketing’s newest communications channel has enabled marketers across the globe to use good push to spark exceptional experiences, drive app engagement, and increase customer loyalty and lifetime value.”

API PARTNERS

If you are looking to leverage carrier network assets like location, SMS, and billing integrations, there are several companies that aggregate these connections across multiple carriers. This means that you only need to integrate once, instead of having to deal with each individual operator.

APIGEE
“Apigee gives you what you need to innovate and be successful in the API and app economy. Hundreds of companies use Apigee to grow their reach with mobile apps, create new products with partners and developers, accelerate internal development through APIs, and gain end-to-end visibility into business with the ability to analyze 360 degrees of information.”
AEPONA
“Aepona’s awarding-winning software platform bridges the enterprise with the network, enabling Service Providers to offer communications, context, commerce, and control features that enrich business applications using cloud-based APIs. This allows Service Providers to monetize their assets in new ways, and enterprises to easily embed mobile intelligence into a diverse range of applications.”
NEUSTAR
“Connecting consumers on any network and device regardless of the growing complexities involved is a challenge. As trusted neutral experts, Neustar is here to help. We can show you how to interconnect across partners, technologies, and devices, plus manage your networks efficiently with the right data and analysis. We can also help you make smart technology choices and drive down costs.”

Operator & OEM Tools

There are instances, however, where integrating with specific operators or manufacturer makes sense due to your user base. Here are the tools that the major operators and OEMs make available. Each operator has their own list of APIs that they maintain, so depending on your needs, you may not need to go through an API aggregator, saving you on middle-man fees.
VERIZON APIs
As the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., Verizon maintains an extensive list of tools for developers to help customers and hear from their users.
AT&T APIs
Add speech, in-app purchases, messaging, and location to your apps. Read some case studies and learn how others have used AT&T’s APIs.
SPRINT DEVELOPER PORTAL
“Sprint’s customers are heavy data users who appreciate the unlimited data plans Sprint offers. With Sprint, you have access to customers who want to do more than talk. Sprint has the most dynamic portfolio of 4G devices. Our unlimited 4G data plans and worry-free pricing are just a few of the things you won’t find with any other carrier.”
SAMSUNG DEVELOPER PORTAL
Whether its apps for phones, tablets, or TVs, Samsung has you covered. “The Remote Test Lab is a solution that enables developers to control devices remotely. Using the Remote Test Lab service, you can test your application on a real device.”
HTC DEVELOPER PORTAL
“Great ideas. Nobody believes in their pursuit of more than HTC. That’s why you’re here and that’s why we created HTCdev. This is where you will find the tools of your trade, the materials you need to turn great ideas into useful, meaningful technology applications. So think big, dive in and make it happen.”
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