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BT upgrades personal cloud offering with Synchronoss deal

Synchronoss MWC 2016

Giant UK CSP BT has taken on US personal cloud provider Synchronoss to power an enhanced version of its BT Cloud service.

Synchronoss specialises in white-label personal cloud products that are typically sold to the telecoms channel and offered as branded cloud services by the likes of Verizon. Among the USPs Synchronoss claims for its personal cloud platform is the flexibility to save all kinds of content to the cloud and access it from any device.

“Our BT Cloud service makes it as easy as possible for customers to keep their digital memories safe and unlocks their digital lives through simple and fast access to their personal content,” said David McDonald, Director of Broadband at BT. “We are pleased that our agreement with Synchronoss will enable us to further evolve BT Cloud, bringing more new and exciting features to our customers.”

Telecoms.com caught up with Stephen Waldis, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Synchronoss at the recent MWC 2016 event and he offered some context around the personal cloud offering that has become his company’s main line of business just five years after its launch, overtaking the device activation business which counts Apple among its customers.

“When we started the cloud in 2011 we ingested around 1 terabyte per month,” said Waldis. “Today we have 160 million registered users across the world and we ingest almost 200 terabytes per day. Most of the devices in our portfolio have 16GB of storage, so if you do the math on what users are backing up and storing on their device then you have around two months’ worth of content on a typical device.

“When our operators look at the personal cloud they find three distinct reasons why it improves the business case. The first is retention rate, and in the US the churn rate is around 20 basis points [0.2%] lower for customers using the cloud. Secondly most customers backing up to the cloud are using multiple devices and lastly they tend to be the highest value users overall.”

Synchronoss is also working with industry, both on the device activation and personal cloud side, to enable IoT-like services. One example Waldis gave us was a recent deal with General Motors to enable its cars to wirelessly connect to third party electronic gateways and enable commercial services like one-click ordering at your local coffee shop whenever you get near it.

At MWC Synchronoss also released some research it had commissioned into the personal data habits of 30 million subscribers globally between April 2015 and January 2016. In that period it found that the average amount of user content created and stored per subscriber increased by 55%, much of which was accounted for by video. In the US specifically it found that the average US smartphone user takes up 10.8GB of storage capacity on their device, and that’s expected to increase by8% per month.

The current trend is for operators to look to reduce churn and increase ARPU by offering increasingly comprehensive multiplay packages. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see BT continue its aggressive expansion by being among the first international customers for the Synchronoss personal cloud platform.


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