Roke Manor Research (Roke), a Chemring Group company, will be demonstrating SmartSwitch at this year’s Mobile World Congress. SmartSwitch is the first app that allows mobile networks to actively promote free WiFi and eliminates ‘bill shock’ when travelling internationally.
SmartSwitch could be used by network operators during the Olympics to reduce network congestion and avoid user frustration. As millions of visitors descend upon the Olympic venues, their smartphones will face a barrage of WiFi signals from multiple sources. As the strongest signal takes connection priority, frustrated users will be forced onto WiFi login pages for which they may not have an account, rather than have immediate use of data services. Roaming overseas visitors may also face ‘bill shock’ if they mistakenly join WiFi/cellular data services that are chargeable, rather than free local WiFi services.
SmartSwitch allows network operators to send real-time policies that can simplify and automate the network selection process. The policies can be configured to offer the best user experience by automatically enabling and authenticating WiFi, as well as real-time interactive messaging to keep the user informed. As SmartSwitch is application, location and time aware (to name a few contexts), this also gives operators the ability to reduce congestion in known problem coverage areas. The dynamic management of WiFi connectivity also delivers users with improved battery life.
Ben Toner, Business Sector Consultant at Roke, said: “SmartSwitch is unique in allowing the mobile networks to keep their customers updated with the real-time cost of data, as well as simplifying the WiFi connection process. As users move around, so do their data needs, but through a technique of ‘policy to the handset’ roaming data networks can be simplified.
“Real time and interactive messages from the core network billing system encourage users to manage the data plan and network at the moment it matters. This is a unique capability that allows network operators to offer new data plans and dynamic WiFi offload, whilst better monetising data services and keeping device users happy,” concluded Toner.