A British firm has devised a simple but effective way to combine fixed and mobile bandwidth to maximize throughput for bandwidth-starved users.
Boosty is an OTT service that boosts broadband by aggregating a home's DSL service with a subscriber's surplus mobile data.
"We take what people already have and make the most of it," Paul Evans, CEO of Boosty developer Sharedband told UBB2020 during this month's Broadband Forum Asia "I've got multiple smartphones in the home and I'm paying for it; say I've got 20GB of data a month. A lot of people have more mobile data than they actually use."
Mix & Match for Broadband Power
Sharedband CEO Paul Evans (left) discusses the company's Boosty OTT broadband service with attendees of Broadband Forum Asia earlier this month.
And despite broadband providers' extensive investment in fiber to the home (FTTH) and premise (FTTP), tens of millions of households will not soon have fiber access, Evans said.
"So how do we offer something that's really low cost, that works, that is simple, to help people today?" he asked.
Boosty is a hybrid access solution that "is not going to replace fiber. If I had the choice I'd go for fiber," said Evans.
Sharedband's service runs from a mobile app that activates as soon as it connects with the customer's home Wi-Fi. Boosty only bursts into cellular when the user needs the bandwidth, according to the company.
"For example, you're on a 4Mbps home service, and you need 5Mbps for Netflix streaming, you can just top up with 1Mbps on the cellular," Evans said.
It also allows users to set limits for each home user.
The service is currently available only in the United Kingdom. It costs £99 ($124.70) for the Boosty modem and 12 months service, then the company charges £39 per year for renewal.
While this is a pure OTT service, Boosty may also be an attractive proposition for telcos as a product that can drive both data usage and customer retention. Indeed, Sharedband today works with operators to provide a managed service for business. It has about 10,000 Boosty business users in the UK, the company said.
Shareband also is in talks to expand the service to the United States and Asia, Evans said.
"A number of operators are interested in our technology. There are a few who will be licensing and launching the technology for us," he added.
The vendor also recently launched Boosty Go, which uses the same technology and back-end server to aggregate Wi-Fi and cellular.
— Robert Clark, writer, @electricspeech.