Cloudy with a Chance of Cost Savings
The second day of MWC proved to be another full-on day of hall walking and meetings, and innovation was on show aplenty.
That’s certainly true of Israeli VAS company CallUp. This small operation has just 25 employees but sells its products to operators all around the world, from LATAM to India. Its CEO Aron Roth explained to me how its CanVAS product can bring the value back for operators into services such as SMS and voicemail, which for those that are focussing on LTE are products that no longer really revenue generators, but still have to be offered. The answer is the cloud. CanVAS offers these things via a cloud-based system, thus stripping out the high OPEX costs that carriers would otherwise face for these low revenue generating services. Interestingly Callup itself hosts these offerings on AWS – Amazon’s cloud services. So it’s a cloud service, built on top of a cloud service, which is kinda cool.
We also liked the sound of its new offering Smart Fi, which brings value to operators, and convenience to customers. It enables carriers a chance to offer automatic Wi-Fi hotspot registration to its customers, which is then billed to their operator bill. The service removes the barrier of having to enter payment, and will even bring up options in the preferred language of the user. Neat.
It’s clear from conversations with the likes of JDSU that VoLTE is starting to climb up the priorities list of operators and they need to use appropriate testing tools to ensure they get it right. VoLTE has to achieve higher standards than OTT, as a VoIP service that has to offer carrier grade quality and QoS, while dealing with the RF of a RAN – issues that fixed-line VoIP doesn’t have. JDSU showed how its analysis software looks at packet loss, jitter, delay and R-Faster MOS in an easy to use tool that can be used from a tablet, which the testing equipment can be discreetly placed in a bag.
There’s certainly nothing overly discreet about Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) testing backpack – but then it does include six custom Samsung Galaxy S3s, all measuring voice and data networks. These connect via Bluetooth to a tablet that records a set of tests, such as download and upload and latency as demoed here by its CEO, Dr Paul Carter.
GWS’s also now offers app to operators that enable it to more simply analyse the performance of a network, but while it may be cut down compared to the backpack suite it’s still a lot more complex that the speed test apps available to consumers, with 150 readings available.
Crowd sourced Wi-Fi nirvana
The slickest demo of the day though went to Devicescape, which offers a very clever solution for automatically connecting customers to Wi-Fi. The app, actually integrates with the OS,, so is only currently available on Android phones direct from carriers, but when it detects Wi-Fi, will analyse whether the connection is better via Wi-Fi or cellular and will connect seamlessly depending on the settings in the app.
What’s neat is the all the hotspot data is crowd sourced, so that when one user joins a hotspot its details are added to its database and made available to others – which is really smart.
What’s also very impressive is the app can actually let two data sessions run on a preferred connection, so that if you’re streaming an audio file it will remain on LTE, while if you go into Wi-Fi range and start a web browsing session it will use the Wi-Fi for that, simultaneously.
Devicescape won ‘Best use of Wi-Fi’ at the Telecoms.com awards at MWC, but it also won my award for slickest demo, thanks to its use of a huge flat screen demo TV (above), and two large dispays cleverly mirroring two phones.
This was just a flavour of the sort of things going on at MWC, giving us insight into how carriers can make cost savings through cloud-based services, how testing is key to enabling VoLTE and how smart solutions can ensure carriers can add value to their customers with smart, seamless Wi-Fi.
Bring on tomorrow.