Project Description

Ensuring that O2 maintained its competitive data connectivity performance.

  • With its exclusivity deal with iPhone coming to an end, O2 needed a way to demonstrate its strong data connectivity
  • O2 had 28% of UK mobile market share in 2010 with 22,400,000 subscribers
  • Penrillian developed iTestNet, O2’s own zero-licensed, low maintenance data usage monitoring solution
  • Rolled out across UK to differentiate O2’s strong iPhone data transfer and usability performance versus its network competitors
“The existing app evolved using behaviour-driven development and Agile practices. The team delivered rapidly changing requirements to a tight deadline by making easy, frequent and quick communication a priority. The whole process was innovative, flexible and responsive.”
Chris Allison, Senior Developer, Penrillian

Background

iTestNet is an iPhone performance measurement and web based reporting service. It measures both the performance and behaviour of the iPhone on the O2 and competitors’ networks. The solution, which was originally developed as an internal tool for O2’s UK network performance team, has the potential to grow – both as an internal tool but also as a consumer application.

Penrillian began designing and developing the solution towards the end of 2009. Phase 1 was launched in April 2010 and received favourable reviews from O2 users. Following this success, O2 requested a number of enhancements, which were delivered throughout 2010 and into 2011.

The Challenge

Initially, in the UK, the iPhone was available exclusively on the O2 network. After two years this exclusivity ended, and from late 2009 the iPhone was being offered by Orange and Vodafone.

O2 knew that between operators there would be little to differentiate the customers’ iPhone experience in terms of price and features. However, data transfer performance would be likely to vary across the networks, and O2 saw an advantage in demonstrating that usability on O2 exceeded the performance experienced on rivals’ networks.

A third party monitoring product was already available and in use in O2, but at a high cost. O2 recognised the benefits of developing its own zero-licensed and low maintenance solution.

Results

The solution, which was originally developed as an internal tool for O2’s UK network performance team, is now also available as a consumer application.

The iTestNet service performs http/ftp ‘put and get’ analytics, it carried out ping (latency) tests, and allows webpage download performances to be measured, which contributes to real customer experience evaluation.

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