By Nandita Singh
BENGALURU: Android application Mubble recently crossed 1 million downloads at the Google Playstore. Two years after its October 2014 beta version launch – the app is fast rising on the popularity scale of pre-paid telecom subscribers in India.
Mubble is a well-engineered solution by three engineers Ashwin Ramaswamy (IIT-Chennai), Pranav Jha (IIT-Mumbai) and Raghvendra Verma (IT-BHU) who come with mobility, technology and analytics expertise spanning two decades, across industry functions. The troika came together over drinks at a pub in Bengaluru’s famed Church Street and became friends long before they co-founded Mubble, India’s first such ‘live’ mobile pre-paid app.
“The app once downloaded and installed on your smartphone in a simple swipe tells you where your balance goes – by aggregating the information sent to your device by the service provider – in real-time,” says Ashwin Ramaswamy, the CEO & Founder of Mubble Networks.
Using machine intelligence and on-device analytics the app gets smarter over a period of usage say a month, or a few recharge cycles, as it begins to track minutes in data and voice use across apps, and usage patterns on the device. Its main input is the information contained in the device, and the messaging communications (SMS) that the service provider sends as updates on balance.
The best part is, it doesn’t stop there. Mubble goes on to recommend the most cost effective packs/ tariff plan/ rate cutters customized for the device usage pattern. “Basically, it simplifies and makes it convenient for a customer to choose most cost effective pre-paid plan best suited for their respective user profile,” says Ramaswamy.
Accomplishing this however was not an easy task, he admits. The algorithm or coding challenge was the toughest, given the varied messages that come from multiple service providers in the country – BSNL communications being the most complex to decode. However, the team has cracked it. “Today, no matter what the format of the messages and where the relevant information is sitting, Mubble code is robust enough to process it,” says Ramaswamy. He also gives due credit to the user community of 500,000 active users who play an important role in improving Mubble performance on a daily basis.
Ashwin Ramaswamy and his team has cracked the code on tracking dual SIM usage across all service providers. This implies that Mubble decision-system is based on the real time dual SIM usage across tariff packs from multiple service providers on the device.
Being backed by technocrat and mentor Nandan Nilekani, and Accel Partners counts as the first big proof of concept validation for Mubble team. However, it is their most recent victory that has them in high spirits now.
The team has cracked the code on tracking dual SIM usage across all service providers. This implies that Mubble decision-system is based on the real time dual SIM usage across tariff packs from multiple service providers on the device.
And the team continues to work on adding meaningful on-demand features collated from its user base. Also, the app is designed to work offline, is light at 5.26 MB and is available in six Indian languages namely Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, besides English.
“Regional languages is critical for Indian population as almost 30-35% of Mubble users use the app in their mother tongue and live in tier II and III cities. Going forward, as mobile penetration in India improves regional language usability will speed adoption as Mubble is an inherently ‘Made for India’ app,” says Ramaswamy. He has set a user base to 10 million as next milestone for Mubble.
Commission on recharge bills is the current revenue model for Mubble. There is no enterprise service offering yet though it does have interesting features such as – Mubble can generate an overall usage bill on pre-paid mobile accounts across both SIMs. There is potential to develop more on those lines, as communications spend make for one of the top five expenses in any enterprise and tracking and managing it is a ‘task’.
Mubble Networks has applied for a patent for its ‘on-device-analytics’ and ‘digital fingerprinting’. Ramaswamy is confident that the entry barrier for what Mubble has achieved is significant and he along with his team is now busy strategizing to take the user base to 10 million.