In Smartphones, Seven Finds a New Heaven

Seven Networks is leveraging its push email technology to create a new system for app data syncing that can help reduce traffic from smartphones and mobile devices by up to 70 percent. The solution 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.

The Seven Open Channel technology monitors data requests from mobile apps and only sends traffic when new information is available. Basically, it limits the amount of times the device’s radio has to turn on. By eliminating unnecessary requests, Seven can help devices reduce their time on a network by up to 40 percent, according to early tests. And it helps reduce mobile traffic by up to 70 percent while boosting battery life by up to 25 percent.

The key is in tapping Seven’s existing work in push email. The company began building an efficient way to sync emails to the cloud in 2000. But with app use booming, and apps increasingly connected to the cloud, it made sense to leverage Seven’s work in email.

“Open Channel does for the Mobile Internet what content delivery networks did for the wired network – work with the existing infrastructure to provide scalability to handle massive data loads,” said Ross Bott, president and CEO of SEVEN. “This is an exciting new business direction for SEVEN Networks, one that leverages our technology expertise, but that also takes us into an exploding new market.”

Seven said the technology is compatible with Android (s goog) handsets initially and is in trials with tier-1 carriers in the U.S. and Europe. The technology includes device software that works with a server to manage traffic. Seven said the software augments existing traffic optimization tools such as fast dormancy and doesn’t require any changes for the network. Open Channel is also transparent to developers and shouldn’t change the experience for mobile users, Seven said.

We’ve been talking about the growing data demands of mobile devices and their impact on wireless networks. Cisco (s csco) 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. This probably won’t slow the migration toward metered pricing by carriers, but it’s an additional tool for mobile operators to stay ahead of the crush of mobile traffic coming. With data demand only expected to skyrocket, any bit can help.

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