This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
In the world of all-you-can-eat mobile broadband, no one much new – or cared – how much wireless data they consumed. But as wireless service providers begin to alter their data package options and these same carriers look to find new sources of revenue, many people are becoming keenly interested in mobile data usage in terms of bandwidth used and media type consumed.
That’s why Mobidia (News - Alert) created a mobile app to track all of the above.
The five-year-old Vancouver company, early on, aimed to help people understand their mobile data usage – by bits and media types – in an attempt to avoid bill shock. The app to enable that has seen three million downloads.
In fact, 15 major service providers including AT&T (News - Alert) Wireless actively promote the Mobidia app to customers who contact customer service regarding data usage questions.
Now, Mobidia is emphasizing the ability of service providers to leverage this information (which Chris Hill, vice president of marketing, says some end users voluntarily share with Mobidia) to better target their promotions (like special data plans or international roaming options), and the products of their partners (maybe a phone accessory provider that wants to sell its headphones to heavy users of Pandora (News - Alert)), over-the-top providers (like a VoIP outfit that wants to better understand usage patterns) and potential advertisers.
Mobidia is just one company providing tools to help end users and others better understand mobile data usage. Another approach is to do such data collection from a network element within the wireless network.
For example, Allot (News - Alert) in early 2012 came out with a fun little pinball application that demonstrates the relationship between different types of applications and various service packaging and pricing options. It was put together for Allot service provider customers, but at the time the company said that those customers could potentially leverage the application to educate their own customers.
Edited by Braden Becker