Mobile VAS company One97 Communications* has made an undisclosed investment in Singapore based LeapSky Wireless, which had developed JumpSurf, a device which provides cheaper international data roaming to customers through bulk data deals with Telecom operators across geographies. One97 MD Vijay Shekhar Sharma informed MediaNama that the company will take a significant minority stake in LeapSky, at a pre-revenue stage. The investment is part of the $100 million Mobility Fund, that it committed, with SAIF partners last year.
How JumpSurf Works
JumpSurf is similar to portable MiFi devices – it converts operator network data connectivity into WiFi, but the value lies in switching from the home-operators International Roaming Tariff’s to local data tariffs through separate arrangements. Sharma points out that at present tariffs, the cost of 1GB data in Singapore can go upto Rs 6 lakh. With JumpSurf, he claims, it will be even cheaper than what the operator charges locally, since the company has bought data in bulk. LeapSky has a patent-pending on its ‘identity management’ technology.
At the moment, the device is able to convert 3G to Wifi, but going forward it will be upgraded to support LTE/WiMax networks, for higher data transfer speeds.
Data bundling agreements have been finalized in Malaysia and Singapore, as of now, and will be extended to other markets in due course of time. Talks are on with operators in different markets, including India, for more tie-ups. One97, Sharma says, will play a role in marketing and sales, and will facilitate in reaching out to operators that it works with.
Interestingly, the product will be offered through telecom operators. Siva Sai N, the founder of LeapSky Wireless informed that the product will be first introduced to the enterprise segment, and later extended to consumer market.
* Disclosure: One97 is an advertiser with MediaNama.