Devicescape plans aggressive European expansion for Wi-Fi network

Devicescape predicts its global Wi-Fi hotspot network, which doubled during 2012 to reach 12 million access points, will expand to reach 100 million access points by the end of 2017.

Devicescape's Curated Virtual Network (CVN) of amenity Wi-Fi hotspots exceeds 10 million access points in the United States, its largest market. The company intends to expand aggressively in Europe and a few other select regions over the next year, enabling its CVN to reach 26 million European hotspots by the end of 2017. The CVN's percentage of access points outside the United States will stand at 74 percent, said Devicescape.

The company said it estimated the future size of its network by "analyzing growth patterns in conjunction with a detailed multi-country study including, but not limited to, the deployed-device-to-CVN-access-point discovery ratio, open versus secured hotspot ratios and the pace and actual growth in the number of amenity Wi-Fi hotspots occurring worldwide."

Devicescape uses crowdsourcing to develop its CVN. The company's software runs on millions of handsets around the world and gathers data on new and existing hotspots.

Devicescape said its new Curator Service selects the best network for a device-- including macrocells and small cells with Wi-Fi--based on operator polices and end-user preferences. The service differs from the company's earlier Offload Service based on more advanced Curator QoE techniques, intelligent radio management based on user behavior and network conditions, and algorithms for optimizing high-quality secure and open Wi-Fi connections.

"As operators look for ways to integrate Wi-Fi into their heterogeneous network strategies, they need not only to automate and simplify the connection to the biggest network of all--the vast network of Wi-Fi hotspots that have already been built as an amenity for consumers--but also to ensure that their subscribers go only to those that deliver a good quality of experience (QoE)," said Sue Rudd, director of service provider analysis at Strategy Analytics.

Devicescape customers from the past six months include mobile service providers Republic Wireless, U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM), Cincinnati Bell, Flash Wireless and Bouygues Telecom, plus device partners Intel and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Microsoft's Data Sense application for Windows Phone 8 devices, which is being used exclusively by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) in the United States, uses Devicescape CVN data. AT&T (NYSE:T) recently said it is "exploring" whether to support Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Data Sense service for its Windows Phone 8 operating system devices.

Unveiled in October, Data Sense compresses users' data transmissions in order to reduce users' data consumption. Microsoft said the technology can give users 45 percent more Web browsing than they would get if they were on the same data plan on another smartphone platform. Data Sense also shows users how much data each app is using, and it can notify a user when they begin approaching their monthly data allotment.

Devicescape is privately held by venture capital companies including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, August Capital, Jafco Ventures and Enterprise Partners.

For more:
- see this Devicescape release

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