Optus parent launches search for mobile apps

Optus parent launches search for mobile apps

Singapore Telecommunications, the parent company of Australia's second largest telco, Optus, has launched a search for mobile application developers and will offer business contracts with the competition's winners.

For several years mobile technology vendors have been talking up the potential of applications on the mobile phone or handheld device, but aside from the hugely successful penetration of SMS (Short Messaging Service) among mobile phone users, data has hardly rocked the mobile world.

In response, SingTel has launched the Asia Java Mobile Challenge in conjunction with Sun Microsystems, several mobile phone manufacturers and the telco's regional partners, luring Java developers with the promise of business deals with SingTel.

Developers are asked to create innovative mobile applications for mobile phones using the Java 2 Platform Micro Edition (J2ME) language, with the competition running from June 17 to August 16.

"Our vision is to introduce new services that customers find useful," said Allen Lew, managing director of Optus Mobile. "Applications relating to lifestyle, entertainment, business, information and games are all welcome."

Twenty finalists will be selected to have their applications tested via a public trial, with submissions judged on appeal, quality, usability and ease of deployment. Selected winners will be offered business contracts with six participating regional mobile operators.

Locally, Optus and Nokia are running an educational seminar in conjunction with Sun Microsystems to educate developers on J2ME.

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