AT&T has expanded its mobile application services for businesses, offering them a fully-managed service for building apps on various mobile platforms and storage of the apps in AT&T's cloud.
The service, announced today, is available in 220 countries. AT&T didn't specify pricing, saying it would vary depending on the needs of each business.
The services offered include integration of a company's mobile apps with existing office systems; access to development teams to plan and build mobile apps; and management of apps in AT&T's network-based cloud.
The AT&T managed service also provides mobile development software from Pyxis Mobile. According to AT&T's Web site , the services support a variety of mobile operating systems, including Android , BlackBerry, iOS, Palm OS and Windows Mobile.
An AT&T spokeswoman said the service is already being used by some customers, including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which just launched a camping and recreation locator mobile app. The app shows mobile users information about campgrounds, hiking trails and visitor centers and will be expanded to help users make campground reservations or buy a fishing license from a mobile device.
All of the major U.S. carriers offer services related to mobile device management and app development, sometimes by partnering with third parties. Sprint recently said it will set up cloud services for business customers later this year and will offer a variety of software and security applications.
IDC, which tracks carriers and companies that offer a complete Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP), has forecast that the MEAP market will reach $930 million in 2014 after starting from nearly zero just two years ago.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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