Onavo - making unfriendly applications friendly for network operators

I was at the Mobile Entertainment Forum awards last night. A great bash honouring some truly innovative apps. Congratulations to the OnStar mobile application that won in the Technology Innovation category that I was judging. A great app. Also congrats to ForgetMeNot Africa with a great SMS-based app allowing access to loads of social networks and messaging apps.

Another winner that really grabbed my attention was from Onavo. It's an iPhone app (with Android version coming soon) that reduces the network load from other iPhone applications. My discussion with them comes on the back of a few days spent at the Managing Mobile Data conference in Vienna where operators were talking about traffic load and in some cases complaining about how there's no incentive for app developers to be network-friendly. They're not incentivised to keep utilisation of network resources to a minimum. Onavo helps make network-unfriendly applications friendlier. And the benefit is not just to the network operator. For end-users it reduces their total data usage, which they'll obviously be happy about. So for those MNOs struggling to cope with large volumes of data from iPhones (and for one MNO at the conference iPhones account for 1/3 of all mobile data) perhaps look at this before spending big on spectrum and LTE BTSs.

I need to write up more on the Managing Mobile Data conference and will do when I have a little more time. A very interesting couple of days. In the meantime, check out Onavo.