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Next Generation Wireless Applications: Creating Mobile Applications in a Web 2.0 and Mobile 2.0 World, 2nd Edition by Paul Golding

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12.7 ACCESSING NETWORK ASSETS

In addition to the RF network's support for packet communications, there is a range of other services that a cellular network can offer. Depending on the type of application we want to develop, some of these services could be essential and it would therefore be a good idea to gain programmatic access in order to allow integration of these services into the application under development.

The types of asset that an operator has are:

  • Voicemail services
  • Call-control (e.g. call forwarding, call conferencing, etc.)
  • Charging and billing mechanisms
  • Bi-directional text messaging, including sophisticated mechanisms for micro-charging, like reverse-billing (i.e. paying for receiving messages)
  • Multimedia messaging systems
  • WAP gateways
  • WAP Push gateways
  • Fine-grain IP management of mobile devices (e.g. GGSN capabilities)
  • VPN and other security mechanisms (courtesy of GGSN again)
  • Interactive voice response systems
  • Location-finding infrastructure to locate mobiles
  • Numbering management schemes (e.g. short codes, alias code, multiple-device numbering, etc.)

Firstly, we should examine the problem of exploiting these assets from the perspective of the operator, since they are the one who owns the network and has to find a way of making its assets available to third-party developers and other interested parties.

Figure 12.29 shows us a possible context of the mobile network operator's business. As the figure shows, the mobile operator view is one that places their network ...

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