Akamai Technologies introduced Aqua Mobile Accelerator, a new service designed to help online businesses provide a vastly improved user experience for mobile web sites and applications. Aqua Mobile Accelerator brings together a variety of performance enhancements designed to alleviate the inherent challenges content providers face in delivering to mobile devices across environments plagued by unpredictable network conditions, latency and packet loss.
Improving delivery of mobile web sites and applications to better meet mobile user expectations has rapidly become a critical business imperative. As the capabilities of mobile devices have developed and matured, organizations have struggled to deliver mobile experiences that perform well enough to meet user expectations. Experiencing the Internet over mobile devices has not matched the "fixed line" experience. High degrees of latency can cause delays, hung web sites and applications and other issues that can degrade the user experience and negatively impact adoption and brand fidelity.
"Businesses must expect that their customers, employees, and partners will want to access web sites and applications from anywhere, at anytime, from any device," stated Lydia Leong, research vice president, Gartner. "Mobile devices, which have limited computing power and are connected to networks that often have high and unpredictable latencies, present a particular challenge, driving increasing market interest in optimization technologies, whether applied to mobile content and applications, or mobile networks."
Aqua Mobile Accelerator takes advantage of the power of the Akamai Intelligent Platform, a globally distributed cloud platform that continuously pulls and caches fresh content from web servers and mobile app data interfaces onto servers that are closer to the "gateway nodes" that serve as the on-ramp between the public Internet and private mobile carrier networks. Dynamic Internet mapping directs user requests for mobile application data and web sites to an optimal Akamai Edge server near a gateway node. Through Internet route optimization the fastest, most reliable path back to the data center serving dynamic and interactive content to mobile users is identified. Aqua Mobile Accelerator builds on this set of core capabilities to deliver even greater levels of optimization for mobile sites and applications.
New features introduced in Aqua Mobile Accelerator include:
Akamai Mobile Protocol: The Akamai Mobile Protocol implements a series of improvements to help benefit the overall mobile quality of experience based on the type of network a mobile device uses to connect to the Internet. Akamai Mobile Protocol uses real-time connection sensing to apply the best optimization, especially to overcome the high-latency and packet loss associated with cellular networks. Akamai Mobile Protocol helps deliver smart data retransmission for oversubscribed mobile networks, accounting for last-mile connection inconsistencies. HTTP pipelining for mobile browsers is also being made available. Ultimately, users are rewarded with shorter times to receive data initially as well as fewer dropped data connections during sessions.
Mobile Detection & Redirect: Now managed via Akamai's newly redesigned customer portal, Aqua Mobile Accelerator evaluates incoming HTTP requests at the Akamai Edge - the world's largest distributed cloud computing platform - where Akamai quickly and easily differentiates desktop browser from mobile browser requests. Redirection responses can then be issued from an Akamai Edge server close to the end-user, to the appropriate mobile site for smartphones, feature phones, tablets and other portable devices, dramatically improving response time to mobile devices.
"Businesses of all types are using mobile sites and applications to improve engagement and reach audiences anywhere and at any time," explained Pedro Santos, vice president, Mobile Business. "Aqua Mobile Accelerator provides these businesses a way to offer their users a consistent, high quality experience, which leads to greater satisfaction and reduced abandonment."