Seven Networks' optimization tool reduces data traffic, improves battery life


Seven Networks introduced a wireless traffic optimization tool that it says can cut down data consumption on the network by up to 70% as it reduces the number of times the device and handset talk to each other, in a way that still allows end users to get relevant messages in real time. The solution likely will be welcome by wireless operators that are trying to reduce the traffic on their network as smart phones and tablets increasingly consume large amounts of data under mostly flat-rate bucket plans.
Seven started out known mostly as an e-mail exchange company when it launched in 2000, said Isabelle Dumont, senior director of marketing. However, the company really had found an efficient way to synch data between the cloud and the mobile device; e-mail delivery was just the data that was synched.
The company, which counts 11 of the top 20 global operators as customers, is taking that technology and applying it across the network to other applications beyond e-mail with its Open Channel solution, said CTO Michael Luna. “Today people have the same expectations from their mobile operators as they do from their broadband service providers,” Luna noted. “The ecosystem is personal and vertical in nature,” he said, noting that even though two people may carry the same device and have the same applications on those devices, they use them differently. “I may look at the Wall Street Journal every day on my Samsung Galaxy tablet at 4 p.m. You may get e-mail alerts. Operators need to look at the aggregate choices of devices on the network that are all behaving differently and apply intelligence to optimize the delivery and the experience.”
Open Channel monitors requests for data made by mobile applications, but only connects when new updates are available. E-mail and social-networking applications like Facebook and Twitter constantly ping the network to see if new updates are available, increasing network traffic. The Open Channel solution eliminates the unnecessary requests, reducing the time the device is on the network by 40% without impacting the user experience, the company said. Tests with a North American tier-one carrier showed the technology reduced data traffic on the network up to 70% and increased an Android operating system device’s battery life by up to 25%.
“It saves bandwidth and signaling on the network when you don’t have to turn the device on,” Luna said. The technology has been nominated for a technology breakthrough award at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

About Author

Tracy Ford

Former Associate Publisher and Executive Editor, RCR Wireless News
Currently HetNet Forum Director
Ford has spent more than two decades covering the rapidly changing wireless industry, tracking its changes as it grew from a voice-centric marketplace to the dynamic data-intensive industry it is today. She started her technology journalism career at RCR Wireless News, and has held a number of titles there, including associate publisher and executive editor. She is a winner of the American Society of Business Publication Editors Silver Award, for both trade show and government coverage. A graduate of the Minnesota State University-Moorhead, Ford holds a B.S. degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on public relations.