BVI News

Phone companies urged to support app developers

Bevil Wooding

Internet Strategist Bevil Wooding has called on telecommunication companies Flow, CCT, and Digicel to support local app developers, adding that there is a need for more mobile apps locally.

He said more mobile applications (apps) – such as a one for local ferry schedule – could be developed through competition.

“If you have a school competition, for example, where you encourage children to write mobile apps, they can build the apps. We’ve seen that with different mobile app training across the region.”

Wooding continued: “But how do those apps get onto the phones of the operators present in the market? They need the operators to say ‘OK, we recognise that there is a new initiative to create local content, and we’re going to promote that content by putting it on the phones on the networks that are local.”

Wooding, who is also an advisor to the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, added that local app development will go nowhere without strong participation from the local network operators.

“The kids can’t write the app if there is no outlet for them to get it on to phones where people can actually use it,” Wooding further said.

He stated that the territory already has some of the tools necessary for local app development. One such tool, Wooding said, is the Internet Exchange Point that was set up it the British Virgin Islands.

“We are using the phrase local apps for local needs, and local solutions for local challenges. That’s what the exchange point is designed to engender, to foster, to facilitate, to catalyse. Without it, you’re talking about foreign apps for local needs. You’re talking about the expensive export of capital at the expense of development in indigenous capacity.”


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