Mobile operators will be able to offer subscribers the ability to back up and recover data held on their phone, PDA or laptop with a new service from Attix5.
Attix5 has extended a fixed line remote back up service to work for data held either in the memory of a phone itself or on the SIM card. It is trialling the system at present with one non-European operator that it could not disclose, and is hoping to persuade European operators of the benefit of the value added service.
Client software is downloaded to the phone via a website branded by an operator. This software allows the user to select what data to protect, and how often to back it up. For example, a user could select automatic back up every time there is a change.
Data back up is then made via GPRS for data held on the phone memory, or by SMS for information on the SIM card. Information that could be backed up could range from directory and calendar information up to attachments and MMS messages held in the phone memory.
Ian Van Reenen, director of technology at Attix5, said that the solution would enable operators to automatically increase data traffic. Other benefits would include decreasing churn, increased use of a phone after loss, and the ability to charge subscription revenues for the service.
“There is evidence that when a phone is lost, the user makes 60-70% fewer calls on his replacement phone until he eventually re-populates his phone book. Also, the point of churn is often the loss of a device. If the operator is looking after your data for you there is an extra incentive to stay with them.” van Reenen said.
For the part of the application where SIM data is backed up, Attix5 has partnered with SmartTrust, widely used by mobile operators for mobile management. One possible hurdle is that the application will require operators to use SIM cards which have been manufactured with the application written onto the card. But Van Reenen said that Gieseke and Dievrent have already produced a batch of such cards for the operator trial.
“The idea is to get the card manufacturers to write it as a default on all cards,” van Reenan said.