25th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS), Brussels, Belgium, 22-25 June 2014
This paper combines quantitative and qualitative methods to take a first look at the app economy and mobile services landscape in the City and Region of Brussels, capital of Belgium and Europe. By scraping the iTunes App Store and Google Play market places we get a view on platform distribution, pricing, public vs. commercial, adoption, appreciation and popular categories of Brussels apps, as well as a view on the app economy in the city. This data is then complemented by qualitative expert interviews with actors in the field, such as cities, interest groups and developers. In the context of the current debate surrounding what constitutes a Smart City and the importance of smartphones and mobile in this area, we perform a reality check, using Brussels as a case. We find that the laggard position Brussels is currently in could be an opportunity to leapfrog in the field of mobile services, but that a focused vision and clear mobile strategy, while thinking of the city as a local innovation platform, is quintessential to achieving this.
Business models smart city mobile services mobile applications Brussels app economy