Owned by the Italian postal service, PosteMobile is Italy’s largest MVNO. It has just announced a deal with mobile testing company DeviceAnywhere to ensure that it’s services work properly on the full range of handsets on the market.
What’s the story?
MVNOs have to deal with some issues that their carrying operators already have sorted – namely, handset compatibility. The O2s and Vodafones of the world have enough scale that they can sell only phones that they support. For an MVNO, they often sell SIM-only deals, and rely on people jumping onto their network without needing a new phone. So an MVNO is never really sure what kind of device it will suddenly be called upon to support, and it doesn’t have the testing and R&D departments to ensure the kind of compatibility that (for example) Telefonica can.
One of the companies providing a solution to this problem is DeviceAnywhere. It’s a mobile device testing company, that provides an attention-grabbing service. The company has huge banks of mobile phones, with 2,000 different models supported so far. Its partners can test all of their services, apps and products on these phones. The actual testing process is done through an on-line interface (call is SaaS or cloud-hosted, whatever you like), so from a single dashboard someone like PosteMobile can test their services on 2,000 different devices – without needing to invest in a single piece of hardware.
The actual interface replicates the physical phone as closely as possible – on a 3d model you can press all of the buttons on the phone, and test any of the phones functions. It allows you to completely test your application remotely, on as many different devices as you could want.
What’s the news?
PosteMobile has already been a DeviceAnywhere customer for some time – the announcement today is about an extension to it’s use of the service. What we’re talking about there is a service called MonitorAnywhere. While DeviceAnywhere is usually seen as a service to help developers test their products before launch, MonitorAnywhere is about ensuring the product continues to work perfectly after launch. Effectively, it runs a set of tests on your software, on a selection of devices of your choice, and at intervals of your choice (as regularly as every 5 mins, if you like).
Now, PosteMobile is part of the Italian postal service – which makes it a semi-state body. It has a lot of connections with the financial services that the post office and banking services can offer. That’s actually the main selling point of PosteMobile. It differentiates itself by being the most financial-services heavy of the mobile networks. So it needs to ensure that all of these payments, commerce and banking services will work smoothly all the time. And that’s what DeviceAnywhere does for it. If anything causes the PosteMobile services to stop working on a particular brand of phone, or leads to service outages or slowdowns, MonitorAnywhere immediately notifies the MNVO.
So the actual news here is that PosteMobile is launching a much deeper relationship with DeviceAnywhere. To being with, it only used the testing banks to monitor its SIM-based services. Now it will be using it to test services in development and preproduction.
What we think?
This isn’t just a regular deal with DeviceAnywhere. It partnered with CREALAB to create a bespoke interface and solution for PosteMobile. This is a big emplacement, and it’s the kind of service that will really test how robust the DeviceAnywhere phone banks are.