Sharedband, a provider of bonded Internet solutions, has launched Sharedband Connect, a new technology allowing seamless roaming between 3G or 4G cellular networks and Wi-Fi environments.
The solution will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week (25-28 February).
Designed to deliver enough bandwidth to support the most data-hungry apps, Sharedband Connect 3iFi and 4iFi give users a single IP address and allows them to connect to the Internet via two communication channels — one Wi-Fi, and one cellular.
The Sharedband Connect solution, delivered via an Android smartphone app, transmits data over whichever channel is connected. When both channels are connected, data can be routed simultaneously over both for maximum speed, or just burst out to the cellular network when necessary for maximum cost efficiency. Users retain full control over costs by setting pre-defined limits for mobile data consumption.
Because two paths are better than one, Sharedband Connect offers a highly secure, resilient connection, which can be critical when downloading large data files or live media streaming to a mobile device. The service also offers smooth, seamless migration from one connection to another, allowing data streaming to continue uninterrupted.
Paul Evans, CEO at Sharedband Connect, explained to Wireless: ‘With more and more Wi-Fi hotspots coming on line, if you leave Wi-Fi switched on on your phone it will keep cutting in and out of your cellular network and Wi-Fi as you move. Hotspot 2.0 was really designed to facilitate a smooth voice handover between cellular and Wi-Fi. But Hotspot 2.0 is not so good for the seamless streaming of data applications and that’s what we are providing. You turn on your Sharedband app and smoothly migrate between the two.’
The other key benefit is that it allows operators to unclog their 3G and 4G networks by offloading data onto Wi-Fi. Hence, Sharedband Connect 3iFi and 4iFi are targeted at mobile network operators and telcos to offer their customers as a bundled app. Evans revealed that its prototype was ready in September 2012 and the company secured a contract with an operator by December.
The company is also offering an encryption model of its solutions as a configurable option. Many public Wi-Fi cells are not that secure, so users can switch can encrypt their traffic if they are worried about their data being hacked or intercepted.
An additional potential benefit is that Sharedband can be used to track users’ phones and create a much more accurate, real time 3G/Wi-Fi coverage map, which it could then sell to operators.
Sharedband Connect has made the shortlist for Smart UK’s competition to recognise the UK’s most innovative mobile companies, the results of which will be announced in Barcelona.
Sharedband’s COO, Tim Burne, commented: ‘Sharedband Connect gives mobile users the ultimate high-speed data experience which is great news for mobile network providers, as they’ll be able to build market share and reduce customer churn. By offering a fully integrated data service, they’ll never lose sight of their customers’ data, and this will give them insights that will prove invaluable when planning future technological investments.’
Sharedband can be found on Stand 5C50 at Mobile World Congress (25 – 28 February 2013).