LotusFlare keeps an eye on your data

Written by on September 11, 2015 in Guest Blog with 1 Comment

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 09.03.05This article LotusFlare wants to be the mobile carrier for the future in Fortune magazine caught my eye.  It turns out that the title is somewhat deceptive, LotusFlare is not mobile operator at all, at least not yet.  After checking out their website I am pretty sure they are similar to ItsOn (their story here). In fact, very similar to the Onavo (here) business model, before they pivoted into mobile analytics and were bought by Facebook.

So LotusFlare has partnered with Google to figure out how to provide balloon-based Internet to the masses, but the real story is in their App – DataEye. According to their site…

DataEye, the LotusFlare Android app, saves its users mobile data and battery life by letting them manage their mobile data usage. App-based data control means that there is no loss of data due to unwanted background traffic. Users can also get access to more content for the same cost.

So users can see what apps are using their data and turn them on/off accordingly. One thing you’ll notice is that it is for Android only (at least at the moment).  I figure this is because the folks at Apple don’t let developers near this type of information. Considering LotusFlare is focused on developing countries, they are more likely to see Androids than iPhones, but this limitation may need to be overcome at some stage. The folks at ItsOn have a work-around for Apple device that does the control in the operator’s network.

Onavo started out with a similar business model of trying to save customer’s bandwidth by using a VPN and caching, not sure about the application controls.  They pivoted away from this, into Mobile analytics. My suspicion is that reducing the amount of data customers use is not actually a good pitch to operators that make money from selling data. LotusFlare may have similar suspicions and they have included a zero-rating or data sponsorship partnership program in their pitch too.

All in all, LotusFlare may be successful is some of the more developing parts of the world, but will that be enough?

This article was first published here, and is reproduced with kind permission.

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Jonathon Gordon

About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .

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  1. Stephen D Holle says:

    DataEye uses a VPN to sort the data usage. No mention of whether the VPN is encrypted or what LotusFlare can do with what comes out the other side of the VPN.

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