British Telecom’s 21CN

CNN writes about the new network being deployed by BT:

BT is creating an open, standards-based platform for which anyone can develop new applications. In other words, the phone has the potential to become more like the Internet with its proliferation of cool new Web sites, tools and services.

This is no small thing. Right now, for example, most of the mildly interesting stuff consumers can do with their phones – call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding – is programmed right into the big computers that route calls around the network. That makes it virtually impossible for some entrepreneur in a garage or some teenager tinkering at his computer to develop a new phone service.

By moving to an Internet-based architecture, British Telecom enables that tinkering teen to spend time he might have dedicated to making Google “mashups” to creating a fun application for the phone network. “We are doing what Google is doing,” says Reynolds, referring to Google’s willingness to make some of its application programming interfaces (APIs) available to the public.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.