BT is working on opening its network to enable users and independent software developers to create applications to run on it.
In an unprecented move, the UK telecomms giant has teamed up with Microsoft, equipment vendors Nortel and Siemens, plus signal software company DGM&S Telecom, to define a set of specifications for a so-called open network interface.
The specifications, expected by the end of the year, will then be offered to an industry standards body.
Mike Carr, a member of BT?s technology strategy unit, said: ?This will allow third parties to write their own communications applications and sell these to niche or big markets. At the moment, it is the responsibility of the carrier to write such applications.?
For example, independent software vendors could write applications for specific market sectors to enable users to change and specify how and where they would like to receive calls. Another application could tie in telephone calls with calendaring software, explained Carr.
?As people run Lans because they cannot configure the main network, this interface would enable people to gain virtual control of their telecomms network,? continued Carr.
He believes it will take time to design the specification because there is currently no such interface.
Stephen Wu, international director of Microsoft?s Internet customer unit, said: ?This specification will help drive overall telecommunications services market growth, increase demand for intelligent communication services and improve usage. By making the world?s telecomms network more accessible while maintaining their integrity, and by allowing more general creation of services, we will see an explosion of opportunities, services and revenues for the telecommunications industry.?
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