Cross-platform protocol to offer fightback against OS-specific notifications
Newbay Software has launched a system that allows operators to provide IP-based notifications to devices independently of the platform the device is operating on.
A notification is the little message that pops up to let you know you have a new update available on an app, or have a new SMS message or @ mention on Twitter, or new email. With SMS traditionally being used as the main tool for notifications, this was once a viable and profitable revenue stream for operators.
Recently, however, the main OS platforms such as Android and Apple have offered their own IP-based notification protocols like C2DM (Cloud To Device Messaging) and APNS (Apple Push Notification Service) to developers and service providers. These protocols bypass the operator to deliver notifications direct to the user.
Not only that but, as NewBay points out, they are able to carry rich application data and service-specific metadata as well as support WiFi only devices, and developers are offered an API that means they don’t need to pay for access into operator SMSCs.
But although there are advantages, the limitation for developers is that using APNS or C2DM doesn’t gain them access to the widest array of devices. For that they would need an independent system that still offered the functionality of the other systems.
Service specific notification systems also add additional costs, prevent cross-app synergies and data mining and analytics, NewBay claims.
This is where NewBay’s LifeCache Notifier system comes in. NewBay says that operators and developers using its proprietary BPP (Binary Push Protocol) will be able to extend battery life, reduce signaling load on the network, and use one API to provide notifications to all the major OS – including Apple and Android. It will be up to operators which gateways they want to add to the product.
Operators can then act as a curator of services across peoples’ devices. On a simple level, for example, it could allow a user to set up their preferences so they receive notifications to an Android handset during the day, but to an iPad during the evening, for instance.
LifeCache Notifier customers will also have access to all the analytical information available to them from the system.
Jerome O’Flaherty, Product Manager for the LifeCache Notifier product, said, “Up to now, even into last year, there were huge amounts of revenue generated from SMS. The trend we’re seeing now is that people with iPhone and Android applications use IP-based notifications, not SMS. So people who were previously paying the operator for access to the customer are now completely circumventing the operator and using other methods to communicate with the mobile customer. The operator, rather than abandon this whole area which would be disastrous, needs a platform with which they can take their existing partners on a journey.
“That’s a journey that might end up with SIP, but could end up with a completely mobile optimised protocol to compete with the Apple and Google protocols. Operators need to do something and they need to do something now. What we are trying to do is give one simple and easy system so they and their partners don’t have to worry about all the different protocols, and a notification can find its way to the user no matter what device or system they are using.”
O’Flaherty said that apart from offering application developers a broader scope, the Notifier product is also desinged to extend battery life without taking a heavy toll on the operators’ signaling network, as has been the case with a system like Fast Dormancy. Fast dormancy was designed to increase battery life by quickly releasing a connection
“There is a specific protocol designed to detect the architecture of the operator’s network and optimise the amount of traffic shifted across that network. A key notification consideration is to choose one that optimises packet size, frequency and RAN impact.”
You can access more information on LifeCache Notifier here.