May 22, 2012

New Solutions Help Customers Drive Their Mobile Experiences

This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Next Gen Mobility

The mobile revolution has put a lot of power into the hands of end users – both in terms of feature-rich smartphones and tablets, and in light of their ability to pick and choose easily the applications and content of their choice. Now many companies are moving to give end users the power to manage and monitor their mobile data plans, performance and usage as well.

A little company called Millenoki is among the outfits delivering a solution on this front.

Millenoki’s datasquasher mobile application gives users control of their own experience. They can use the app to compress, or select lesser-quality (in terms of parameters like pixels or frame rate) content. This can lead to up to 90 percent savings in data use, which can result in significant savings for users, particularly when they are using data roaming, company sources tell Next Gen Mobility. It also can enable better battery efficiency on mobile devices.

The solution is expected to be available through Apple’s App Store and the Android (News - Alert) Marketplace by the time this issue appears in print. The company is also preparing to support Windows Phone 7 and Symbian devices.

On a separate front, a company called Carrier IQ is also working to brings mobile end users into the loop by providing them with more intelligence on how and why mobile devices and networks act as they do.

Carrier IQ software runs on handsets (first feature phones and smartphones) and can store up to 200 kbytes of information on phones that can help explain how, when and where a call failed, for example, or how applications are affecting phone and battery performance. (It’s important to gather that information at the handset, says Andrew Coward, vice president of marketing and product management for Carrier IQ, because the source of such issues can come from the network or the endpoint.)

The company long ago outfitted its service provider customers with a dashboard that shows what’s happening on a per subscriber basis in terms of mobile user experience; application, phone and battery performance; the source of crashes; and the like. Now Carrier IQ is working with its mobile service provider customers to put a subset of that information into the hands of end users, explains Coward.

End users are increasingly playing a more active role in mobile application, device and service selection. This addresses the trend of the pro-active mobile user. At the same time, wireless service providers at once want to make their services stickier while lowering customer support costs. The end user dashboard can meet both carrier goals as well, says Coward.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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