Ronnie05's Blog

Mobile Internet to the masses (Part I): Making heavy applications accessible thru Basic phones

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on September 5, 2009

The next level of growth in Mobile and Internet is expected from the third world nations (Africa, Asia predominantly). A lot of customized services will ride on the power of mobile internet to make a meaningful difference to the target audiences. However, the medium and the device will have to take an economy mode to penetrate the millions here. This series of posts profiles efforts that bring mobile internet to the masses. 

Microsoft has now introduced OneApp, a new software application that will allow basic phones to run mobile apps like Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, and other popular applications and games. OneApp complements Microsoft’s existing mobile strategy by bringing mobile apps and services to feature phones in emerging markets.

How it works?

OneApp’s software plus services design enables mobile apps to run on basic phones that have limited memory and processing capability. (Basic phones  are devices –very often found in emerging markets — that can connect to basic data services and install applications.) Customers will experience OneApp on their phone as a single application where they can easily access all of their mobile apps.

  1.  Technically, OneApp’s very minimal on-phone footprint of just 150 KB (whereas most downloaded mobile apps are measured in terms of MB) makes installing it quick and easy.
  2. OneApp will launch only the parts of a mobile app that are being used; which cuts down on additional installation time and the need to store all of your mobile apps on the device.
  3. OneApp uses data networks very efficiently to help lower data access charges, which can really create substantial savings for the customer.
  4. OneApp includes cloud services that can help shift processing and storage weight from the phone to the Internet, which improves overall performance.


Microsoft OneApp deliver the apps people crave on the phones they already have and makes it easier for partners to deliver applications and services to feature phones. Microsoft OneApp makes it easier for partners to deliver applications and services to feature phones.The Apps that can thus be loaded on basic phones include Windos Live Mesenger, Weather, News, Contacts auto back up, Facebook, Sports, Mobile Wallet, Tweetlite, RSS readers, Stock markets quotes and Games.


Greatest reach across a broad range of devices: OneApp runs on a large number of feature phones making porting across different types of handsets an easy process.

Simpler and faster application development process: OneApp provides the ability to write once, test once, and reach many different handset models and millions of phones with the least cost. OneApp does the heavy lifting that enables applications to perform well across many different devices and networks. In addition, software developers can write new apps using industry standards like Javascript and XML.

Superior user experience on feature phone: Until now, getting advanced functionality on feature phones has been a challenging task as apps are hard to find and install, sharing them with friends is difficult and there’s no easy way to track updates to previously downloaded apps. OneApp offers a better experience versus existing solutions like WAP by addressing these issues:

  • Apps are easier to find: Unlike a WAP portal, users do not have to ‘go’ to the site to get apps – OneApp is on their phone presenting new apps and services without any need to download, whenever the phone is on.
  • Efficient network usage: OneApp was designed to use data networks efficiently so that customer data access charges are reduced, creating an overall better experience at a lower cost. With OneApp, apps run between the phone and the server – there is no downloading, no time lost, and fewer customer complaints. Because OneApp is designed to put as little load on the network or phone as possible, the user experience on feature phones and GPRS / EDGE networks is superior to competing solutions in similar network conditions.

Blue Label Telecoms in South Africa will be the first to launch their consumer mobile service using Microsoft OneApp. OneApp is part of the release of their service called ‘mibli, powered by Microsoft OneApp’ which will ship with over a dozen new mobile apps, including a Mobile Wallet. Customers in South Africa will be able to download and install mibli for free. They have plans to offer more apps which would be available over the next year, focusing on areas like healthcare. It is expected that OneApp will develop new business opportunities for partners like Blue Label Telecoms and create more opportunities for the industry as a whole. Software developers are going to be able to write new apps for OneApp using familiar industry standards like Javascript and XML. The OneApp software developer kit is expected to be available for developers by the end of this year.

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