“Imagine a three-year-old in the backseat of a car asking every two seconds “Are we there yet?” endlessly. That three-year-old is the Facebook mobile app, requesting data from Facebook’s servers hundreds of times daily, constantly using up network resources while only rarely transmitting any actual data.”
– Michael Luna as quoted by Kevin Fitchard of ConnectedPlanet.com
Everyone in the industry has heard of the “data tsunami” challenge facing wireless carriers today, and everyone – from carriers to the users who are affected – is interested in an answer to that problem.
SEVEN Open Channel™ is a breakthrough mobile traffic optimization solution that cuts the data consumption of smartphones and other mobile devices by up to 70 percent. Open Channel works by monitoring all requests for data made by the mobile apps and only connecting to the network if new updates are available. Currently, applications like Facebook, email, Twitter, IM, weather and others randomly send hundreds of these requests daily, consuming significant network bandwidth and signaling resources.
The reaction to that announcement captured the excitement of a technology that represents a fresh approach to eliminating a huge amount of wireless data and signaling traffic from the network, without impacting end users. Ryan Kim of GigaOm really set the stage for the problem in his Jan. 25 article:
We’ve been talking about the growing data demands of mobile devices and their impact on wireless networks. Cisco predicted last year that mobile users will consume 3.6 exabytes a month on wireless networks worldwide by 2014. As Om recently wrote, we’re on our way toward the gigabyte phone, in which the average user consumes a gigabyte of data a month.
He then goes onto explain the impact that Open Channel can have on operator networks in this quote:
The solution (Open Channel) has big implications for carriers, struggling to keep up with soaring mobile data use, and for mobile users, who are increasingly facing limits on their use of data.
(Open Channel) 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.
Interestingly, the one benefit that didn’t get a lot of attention in the first round of press reports is the device battery savings. During our initial trials, we experienced the battery of the device lasting about 25% longer because Open Channel keeps the radio turned off and this really extends battery life.
We are looking for more excitement around Open Channel as we hit Mobile World Congress and then CTIA Wireless after that. Already the product has been nominated for the 2011 Technology Breakthrough award by the GSMA, which will be announced during the show. Wish us luck!