Alltel had Celltop exclusively for a year, and now Aricent is taking its solution to the international market, offering it up for operators using BREW or Java (J2ME).
Alltel has received many accolades for Celltop, designed to make it easier for end-users to find and manage their content, but few have heard about Aricent. The company is typically in the background, one of the “best-kept secrets” in the industry, said Trevor Strudley, director of marketing at Aricent. But the company, with headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., employs some 8,000 designers, consultants and engineers around the world. One of its divisions is creative consultancy Frog Design.
With the Alltel exclusivity now lifted, Aricent is in talks with operators worldwide and is quietly starting some trials. The Celltop software development kit (SDK) for BREW uiOne and J2ME handset platforms also is available for third parties, content providers and aggregators to create their own cells for the Celltop platform.
Celltop is similar to shortcuts on the desktop, with “cells” taking users to various areas of interest, such as news or stock quotes. Alltel customers who have it on their phones can also customize the cells to their liking. Celltop comes pre-installed in the majority of Alltel’s feature phones.
Users like it because it helps them better discover and use content; it’s beneficial for operators because they can increase data usage and loyalty, Strudley said. The platform is available in multiple languages.
Celltop could be considered both an on-device portal (ODP) or a widget user-interface framework, he said. While the iPhone has done much to increase usage of data for those customers who have it, Celltop can work on multiple phones, across technologies, he said.
Privately held Aricent was spun out of Flextronics in 2006.