Kwicr Provides Mobile App Owners with Broadband Acceleration Control

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  June 08, 2015

A startup called Kwicr now offers a service that allows for mobile application acceleration. The offering is aimed at mobile content outfits that want more control over their apps’ quality of delivery.

Kwicr calls its solution the Mobile Delivery Network, but it’s really part client software, part cloud-based service that relies on AWS servers. Developers go to the Kwicr website and download two to 10 lines of free software, which they then embed into their applications. They then set policies on when and under what conditions they want their application – or a certain part of it – accelerated.

Providing mobile application companies with this ability is important, said Kwicr’s Hugh Kelly, because 3 to 3.5 percent packet loss is typical and there can be a 200 to 300 percent variation in bandwidth even during a single short session, which can lead to buffering, jitter, and user abandons.

“A bad experience is a customer churn spark,” Greg Whelan of ACG Research told INTERNET TELEPHONY.

Ben Johnson, director of product strategy of Raizlabs, a mobile app developer that participated in Kwicr’s beta with its Internet music streaming app Clock Radio, agreed. Apps have 30 to 60 seconds to make a good impression, he said, and if they don’t all is lost.

Content delivery networks can help provide a better experience, Whelan added, but the last 50 miles is best effort. That’s where Kwicr comes in.

Kwicr monitors available bandwidth on the cellular or Wi-Fi broadband connections that run from the edge of CDNs to mobile infrastructure, and Android (News - Alert) and iOS mobile devices. It does that by using control packets, so it knows what the bandwidth is at all points in the application traffic’s journey. That way an app company might opt to accelerate all the time over networks in Brazil, where broadband tends to be slower, but only in certain situations in the U.S., for example.

The company does for mobile apps what CDNs have done for backbone networking, said Kelly, the company’s vice president of marketing and strategy. Kelly said he sees Rev Software and Twin (News - Alert) Prime as Kwicr’s closest competitors; however, he sees the Kwicr solution as being complementary to CDNs.

“I certainly think it would make sense for us to work with CDNs,” Kelly added.

When asked who he sees as Kwicr’s biggest competitors, Johnson of Raizlabs said the CDN providers.

“CDNs have not caught up to what Kwicr is offering yet, but they could,” Johnson added.

Users of Kwicr’s Mobile Delivery Network are charged based on the number of minutes they use on the network, on which 80 apps are currently running. To date, Kwicr has been doing customer outreach primarily to businesses with rich media applications such as social sharing, streaming audio and video, and video on demand. Providing good app experiences at large-scale events is also a good application for the solution, added Kelly of Kwicr, which has $11.5 million in funding from Sigma Prime and Venrock.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino