With inaugural mobile app contest, AT&T seeks to strengthen PH presence

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US telecommunications giant AT&T, whose operations in the Philippines is not known to many people, is staging the inaugural ?2014 Philippines Mobile App Developers? Day in Manila? on Dec. 6-7 to help nurture the local developer community.

ATT contest

The company is partnering with A Space, Golden Gate Ventures, and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) for the two-day mobile app competition. The theme of the event is ?Smart City and Community Involvement.?

Participants will have 24 hours to form teams and turn their ideas into a mobile app ? all vying for prizes totaling more than $9,000 (P40,500), as well as six-month coaching and mentoring by Golden Gate Ventures.

Jake E. Jennings, executive director for international external and regulatory affairs at AT&T, said the event will serve as a venue where developers can acquire ?the right tools and opportunities to build a richer, more connected digital ecosystem across the region.?

AT&T and its co-hosts will provide attendees with the resources, education, and networking structure needed to produce quality apps during the 24-hour period.

Noting that AT&T was the first carrier in the US to create a developer program back in 1996, Jennings said the company saw it fit to bring the contest to the country.

?We saw it as a strategic opportunity and priority to bring developers under our wing, open up our network and API?s to help foster innovation, and move the industry forward. The growth of our program and reaction from the developer community has been phenomenal,? the executive said in an email interview.

Jennings said the event is aiming to replicate the success of the Malaysia Developers? Day, an annual event held in Kuala Lumpur that started in 2013, which has drawn well more than 100 participants each year.

?Given how central the smartphone is to our lives, it?s critical that we are open to and embrace developers here in Asia. Our efforts to bring more innovation to the region have been met with a great success,? he said.

AT&T has been operating in the Philippines for quite sometime, offering mainly global connectivity and application services to global multinational customers in the Asia Pacific region, according to Jennings.

Its local office also provides Virtual Private Network and data services to multinational corporations which have locations in the Philippines through existing locally licensed service providers.

Jennings said ICT and communication are playing an ever increasing role in global economy and countries, including the Philippines and Asean countries.

?These countries are working on policies to increase investment in those sectors. We have seen a number of countries begin to open their markets to foreign investment. We continue to work with countries in the Asean region as well as globally to foster a climate conducive to investment in information, technology and communications,? he concluded.

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