Keynote Systems has helped large wireless carriers, content providers and handset makers cut through the hype to understand how their services and equipment are performing from the customers perspective. On March 27 at the CTIA conference in Orlando, Fla., it will extend that knowledge to the rest of us.
Keynote, the authority on Web performance measurement and testing, will launch the new On Demand Mobile Test and Measurement Network for on-demand testing and monitoring of mobile content, applications and services.
Keynote will offer more affordable, by-the-slice test and measurement services based on a shared infrastructure, which will be deployed in 20 cities around the globe, including New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney. It will test across some 50 wireless carriers globally.
The testing and monitoring services will be based on the technology that Keynote has deployed for its private Mobile Device Perspective and Mobile Application Perspective services. MDP uses actual handsets that are remotely controlled and that run testing and monitoring scripts. MAP emulates over 1,000 handset profiles for monitoring the service levels and integrity of mobile applications and content or for testing the compatibility of handset profiles with Web sites.
"Shared infrastructure is the keyword. We as a company made the investment, built out many modems and handsets and we will deploy them in 20 cities globally by mid-year," said Shlomi Gian, director of mobile business development at Keynote in San Mateo, Calif.
"Shared (infrastructure) is the cherry on top of the sundae," quipped Jeff Cotrupe, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates in Boulder, Colo.
"They can make it a lot less expensive so more people can benefit from the technology that they had under the hood, but wasnt affordable except for large wireless operators and content providers."
Although Keynote will primarily target service providers, mobile content developers and smaller carriers with the new shared infrastructure-based services, enterprises as well as small and medium businesses that rely heavily on mobile communications can benefit as well.
"For SMB folks who need a low-cost way of figuring out if their sales people are getting good or bad performance or who want to assess how downloads are going—now they have an affordable way that they can look at this too," said Cotrupe.
For testing using either the MAP simulated handset or MDP device capability, Keynote will charge $500 for a full day for any city for up to four mobile carriers. For monitoring measurements, Keynote will charge $500 per month per transaction, per city.
The MDP monitoring measurement service includes a one-time setup fee of $1000 and then $500 per transaction, per device, per month. Each additional transaction and device will be $500 per month.
Existing users at mobile content provider Thumbplay find the dedicated version of the MAP service "extremely valuable," but are looking forward to the cost savings and opportunity to test in different regions, said Joe Bilman, executive vice president of products and operations in New York.
"Its given us visibility into whether there are issues with certain carriers at different times of the day, so that we can adjust our message sending at different times. That translates into cost savings, more efficient messaging and better customer satisfaction for us. It gives us light into a space that was dark before," Bilman said.
Bilman believes the shared service will allow Thumbplay to "look at our service from more carriers and from more regions."
Keynote chose the 20 initial cities on the list because they have more advanced networks and because each location has an average of two to four carriers represented, but it intends to add more cities as demand dictates.
"The 20 cities were picked after careful market research [into] the more popular networks and attractive markets for data services consumption," said Gian. "More advanced markets use extensive data services. They send videos, a lot of SMS and browse the Internet. The 20 cities have the highest average revenue per user."
Applications and services covered include: SMS, MMS, WAP, Push to Talk, OTA Transactions, Instant Messaging, Streaming Video, and Java/BREW applications across both GSM and CDMA mobile networks.
Customers can perform testing and take measurements as needed from the Keynote network, and they can access their data from the MyKeynote Portal.
The full 20 cities are Nuremburg, Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Beijing, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Milan, Seoul, Singapore, Madrid, Sydney, Mumbai, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Mexico City.