Light Reading
Remote device diagnostics and support is sparking plans for other connected devices and use cases for the device data.

AetherPal's Device Diagnostics Spawn New Uses

Sarah Reedy
6/3/2014
50%
50%

NICE, France -- TM Forum Live! -- Startup AetherPal introduced new Device Diagnostics here this week that have operators thinking what else they can do with the remote smartphone monitoring technology.

The company came on the scene four years ago with a Secure Remote Control that lets an operator's support team remotely log into a user's phone, once permission is granted, to figure out and fix problems, much like they would on a PC. It has since signed up several operators to embed the app, including two Tier 1 US operators, one revealed to be Verizon Wireless .

Now AetherPal is adding in Device Diagnostics, what it calls a "big data" device platform that automatically collects data for technical support once a call is initiated. It is working towards enabling the operator to automatically correct problems by collecting, aggregating, and analyzing enough data to more quickly understand what the problem might be and why.

So if, for example, Candy Crush was consuming too much memory on a phone, the operator would know the average CPU utilization and realize this particular instance was too high. It would be able to push out a fix or kill the app, something it could do without requiring any action on the consumer's part.

This is a huge potential cost saver for service providers. According to Heavy Reading research, the typical call into a call center runs about $8 for the service provider. When it's a call about a smartphone, however, it's more like $25 to $30 due to the complexity of the typical requests and lack of visibility.

Helping operators achieve this ROI is AetherPal's plan, and that's what attracted former venture capitalist Daniel Deeney to take over as CEO in October rather than just be part of the $6 million round his firm, New Venture Partners, helped invest.

"Remote control is well understood and operators are also asking how to be more predictive and proactive about device care," Deeney said. "It improves the entire customer experience and feels like operator really understands the problem."

Beyond device diagnostics
But what Deeney is realizing is this is just the tip of the iceberg for what operators envision for the platform. Deeney calls Device Diagnostics big data, because the operators want to collect all the data from the handset about customer usage, which is something AetherPal can do given its real estate in phones.

Deeney said that a couple of operators have asked the company to think about targeted mobile ad use cases around device diagnostics. Rather than just give permission when support is needed, an operator would ask them to opt-in when the app installed. Today, those programs, like Verizon Select or Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s Pinsight Media, rely on network elements like routers and switches for data, Deeney explained, but AetherPal could add in the device angle.

"We would pull device data, and it would all go into the same platform and a Guavus or Zettics would run analytics on top," Deeney said. "The device becomes a big data platform."

Another use case Deeney is being asked about is analytics over WiFi. Currently, operators lose track of a customer once he or she offloads to WiFi, but AetherPal doesn't. It can provide data on WiFi customer usage and trends data back to the operators.

Deeney is quick to point out that AetherPal only works with the mobile user's permission. It only begins pulling data when permission is granted, a safeguard made all the more necessary by the CarrierIQ scandal. As it expands its use cases, it wouldn't leave the privacy decisions up to the operator either. It has controls built in that can turn on or off the app and dictate how it is used. Operators have to meet its privacy policy even before their own. (See Carrier IQ: We Don't Record Keystrokes.)

For his part, Deeney is excited about another potential use case for AetherPal: other connected devices, especially telematics. AetherPal is in talks with a number of large car manufacturers about embedding its platform, although he said the customer could just as easily be the operator providing connectivity to the car.

"We are doing some smart home, like setting up and configuring Android TVs, but it's still fragmented; still early days," Deeney said. "We're monitoring it and figuring out use cases. Connected car is much clearer."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
6/3/2014 | 2:08:09 PM
Anyone used it?
Anyone ever called into their operator and been presented with this option? I don't think I've ever called for phone tech support, so I haven't, but I really like the concept. Our phones are essentially computers so it makes sense to treat support of them the same as a laptop.
Flash Poll
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Hot Topics
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
Fiber Revival at Deutsche Telekom
Iain Morris, 8/25/2014
M2M's In Fashion: Wearables Play the US Open
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed