CIQUAL Launches On-device Applications to Deliver the Future of Mobile Customer Experience

Empowers Mobile Operators and their users with on-device care to ensure the best possible mobile internet experience on smartphones and tablets. CIQUAL Apps available for download from Apple App Store and Google Play.

CIQUAL today announced the launch of their Smartphone and Tablet on-device solution enabling closed-loop communication between the mobile operator and their customers and providing user engagement tools to turn customers into advocates while reducing service performance complaints. The CIQUAL on-device application indicates to users the actual connection performance to commonly used internet services right here, right now, empowering the user to take intelligent decisions on where and when they use their mobile services, as well as providing feedback to the Mobile Operator on service and device-related issues.

For mobile operators, the new CIQUAL solution uses the power of Mobile Apps to enable marketing, operations and customer service teams to communicate with users on their service experience and close the loop between poor customer experiences and resulting network and service improvements. The customer’s actual user experience and subjective feedback are correlated to ensure the most critical user-affecting problems are prioritised and quickly resolved. For the first time, Mobile Operator marketing, operations and customer service teams will have full visibility of the customer experience whether users connect via the 3G or 4G network, home or office Wi-Fi or any other connection method, delivering continual user experience visibility. The location of user issues is also identified, including 3G/4G cell and Wi-Fi hotspot.

Mobile users are provided a series of tools to manage their mobile internet experience, including a meter indicating the connection performance the user can expect to important apps such as Facebook and YouTube, a speed test application, the ability to report device and network issues and alerts and information to inform the user of device issues as well as receive information from their Mobile Operator directly into the App.

‘The CIQUAL interactive on-device tools provide immediate value to the mobile user and build trust between the user and Mobile Operator’, said Tom Walls, CIQUAL CEO.

‘Users who trust their Mobile Operator will increasingly provide the mobile experience insights necessary to deliver improved network and service experiences for all.’

The CIQUAL on-device solution is provided to users as an integrated component of the Mobile Operators existing Apps, or as an Operator-branded standalone App. Search for “CIQUAL” in the Apple App Store and Google Play to download the App. Mobile Operators who contact Ciqual are provided a Customer Experience report from crowd sourced users on their network who use the Ciqual Apps. CIQUAL specialise in providing Mobile Operators with real time knowledge and end-to-end visibility of the customer experience of Mobile Broadband. Customer service teams use CIQUALl solutions to reduce average call handling times in the Call Centre, reduce repeat calls due to the same issue and increase the first-call-fix rate.

CIQUAL Launches new Study Package to measure end-to-end 4G Customer Experience

CIQUAL are pleased to announce a new managed service study of 4G Customer Experience.

Designed for Mobile Operators, this service measures the actual experience of 4G customers, providing a set of actionable reports and dashboards for Senior Management, Marketing, Networks and Devices teams.

“Our initial 4G customer experience studies pointed to uncertain price plans, customer disappointment with 4G coverage, seamless 3G-4G handovers and variable device performance as some of the critical issues Operators need to get right as they launch 4G”, said David Bonner, CIQUAL VP of Marketing.

“With our newly launched 4G Customer Experience study package, Mobile Operators receive a 12-week program delivering a full understanding of 4G usage and performance.”

For more details - Download CIQUAL 4G Customer Experience Study Package.

To find out more about using the CIQUAL 4G Customer Experience study package, or to receive a free webex on the results from previous 4G Customer Experience studies, please contact info@ciqual.com

CIQUAL expands with Shanghai Unicom on Google Play

CIQUAL joins with Shanghai Unicom to offer Customer Service and Experience solutions for mobile broadband on the world’s most popular Android market.

CIQUAL are pleased to announce their Session Insight package is now available for download by Shanghai Unicom Android Smartphone and Tablet customers on the Google Play store.

By using CIQUAL’s Session Insight application, Shanghai Unicom users will now be able to test their mobile broadband connection and send mobile broadband user experience feedback in real-time to the Mobile Operator.

‘Shanghai Unicom users will be able to experience a huge change in the quality of service they receive from their mobile broadband service – being able to download the CIQUAL app from Google Play is simple, hassle-free and will increase customer satisfaction for Shanghai Unicom users when they contact the service centre” commented Tom Walls, Ciqual CEO. ‘In May of this year, Google Play reached over 15 billion downloads. We are pleased our solution is available in such a successful market for our customer’s users’

Session Insight gathers the users’ broadband experience each time they access the Internet, providing information to the user and to Shanghai Unicom on how well mobile broadband met the user’s needs. The results are automatically collected with no user interaction required and consuming minimal battery power.

The solution is available for devices using Android 2.1 and up.

Birdstep and CIQUAL deliver enhanced mobile customer service and mobile broadband data analytics

Focus on joint solutions for User Self-Help, Advanced Customer Service and Wi-Fi Offload effectiveness

Birdstep and CIQUAL today announced a partnership to combine Birdstep wireless connectivity and security solutions with Ciqual Customer Service and Customer Experience reporting products.

The integrated user self-help and advanced customer service solution reduces the number of mobile broadband-related calls into the call centre and reduces the hold times of calls made to the Call Centre.

'The top 2 priorities for Mobile Operators are to increase mobile data revenues and deliver the best customer service. The combined Birdstep-Ciqual offering is 100% focused on these priorities', commented, Tom Walls, Ciqual CEO. 'We are delighted to work with Birdstep and their best-in-class wireless connectivity solutions.'

'Interest from mobile operators in South Africa, the US and Europe has confirmed a solution to both measure user experience and lower the cost of support and retention activities is at the top of their list.

The combined solution we now offer with CIQUAL has become a crucial part of any solution in the mobile data area.' says Anders Harrysson, CEO Birdstep Technology

With Mobile Data users now concerned by data usage and quality of service, CIQUAL and Birdstep constantly measures the effectiveness of Wi-Fi offload, enabling the mobile network operator's customers to receive the best broadband experience as they are moved from congested 3G networks, onto local Wi-Fi hotspots.

A recent study from Echo Research highlighted that 50% of smart phone users would prefer to use a mobile self-service application to try to resolve their customer service issue before calling into the contact centre.

About Birdstep Birdstep Technology ASA is a leading provider of secure and seamless wireless connectivity software for operators, enterprises and mobile device manufacturers. EasyConnect offers advanced connection and service management solutions for network operators and laptop manufacturers. SafeMove is a mobile VPN solution providing seamless and secure connectivity to business data for corporations and governments.

Birdstep Technology was founded in 1996 and is since 2002 listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker "BIRD." The company has 63 employees and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with competence centers in Sweden, Finland and the United States. For more information, visit www.birdstep.com and follow @BirdstepTech on Twitter.

CIQUAL announces first LTE Customer Service deal

Leading Asia-Pacific operator chooses CIQUAL to support their LTE launch CIQUAL are pleased to announce its Session Insight solution has been deployed to the Call Centre of a first LTE Mobile Operator to enable faster call resolution and first-time-fix of customer issues.

Customer Service Representatives will gain real-time insights in their dedicated call centre on the actual experience of their LTE launch customers to constantly measure service quality and quickly address LTE network or device issues.

The operator has announced plans to use feedback from its LTE launch customers to optimise its LTE national rollout over the coming months. CIQUAL customer experience analytics will provide detailed performance and usage reports and identify overall customer experience of the LTE service.

'We are delighted to work with Mobile Operators who heavily focus on Customer Experience during LTE launch', commented Tom Walls, CIQUAL CEO. 'Working with CIQUAL enables our customer to gain a competitive advantage in LTE services'.

CIQUAL have delivered the system as a Cloud-hosted solution and have worked with the operators’ device suppliers to pre-integrate its application on to the LTE devices before shipment to customers.

Figures from ABI Research show that 9% of Asia-Pacific operators are now running commercial LTE networks and another 53% have specific rollout plans or are conducting LTE trials.

CIQUAL Attended the Mobile Event of the Year - Mobile World Congress - in Barcelona

CIQUAL recently attended the mobile event of the year – Mobile World Congress – in Barcelona. This year saw a record breaking attendance of 67,000, up 10% from last year. As the sun shone down on Fira de Barcelona and the attendees bustled into the venue – exhibitors and visitors alike were looking forward to meeting with customers, potential clients and eager to hear what the industry trends were going to be for 2012 and beyond.

The unveiling of new devices or technologies is always a highlight for all at MWC – but the main interest for CIQUAL was the buzz on the topic of ‘Customer Experience’.

A significant focus was on the area of 'Customer Experience' a large number of the exhibitors spoke, demonstrated and hyped up ' Customer Experience' to an unprecedented level. In reality what does it mean?

Ciqual since founded in 2007 have focussed on Customer Care and quality Customer Care improves your customers experience – being a point solution today is a disadvantage. The Operators no longer want a solution for this or that. They are looking at improving the value they offer to their customers they now are all realising that improving the customer’s experience is a high priority to reduce costs, improve brand loyalty and reduce churn.

The stand alone solution vendors now realise that no longer can they add value without some link into customer care and are looking to add where possible solutions that they can integrate with that links there component to the care world.

Another main topic at MWC was the roll out of LTE in many countries - CIQUAL are already in trial's with two major operators looking at the customer experience on LTE.

Mobile Payments was hot news at the event – with this trend growing at a high rate – this included new mobile payments partnerships that Visa has started with Vodafone and Intel and NFC technology is now available on various devices such as RIM, LG and Samsung.

For CIQUAL – the show was a great success with many meetings having the opportunity to update current and potential clients on our progress and future plans. The Scotch Whisky tasting event was a great night enjoyed by all and we hope everyone enjoyed the ‘taste of Scotland’!

Special Thanks to Scottish Enterprise again for being CIQUAL’s host at the event and ensuring MWC12 was successful!

CIQUAL announces support for 100th Mobile Broadband Device Type

CIQUAL are pleased to announce that its Customer Experience solution is now available to Mobile Broadband users on more than 100 mobile broadband modem types from 15 different manufacturers. All major modem Brands are supported including Huawei, ZTE, Sierra Wireless, Option and Novatel. From its deployments to Mobile Operators worldwide, CIQUAL continues to see Huawei and ZTE leading the Mobile Broadband device market both in overall modems sold, as well as the range of devices they supply to the market.

It is well known that User mobile broadband experience varies significantly by Mobile Network. However, increasingly, User Experience is dependent on the modem brand and model in use as Manufacturers release low-end modems to reach price points for mass market consumers.

The rise of netbooks and notebooks with embedded mobile broadband is highlighted by Ciqual now supporting computers with embedded mobile broadband from Dell, HP, Ericsson and Qualcomm.

Regional modem providers are also on the rise with support provided for Onda (Italy), Franklin (US), Longcheer (China) and TCT (Hong Kong) modems.

CIQUAL among 12 innovative companies selected to present at MobiTechFest Americas 2010

The value of Mobile Broadband Customer Experience and Customer Care to be highlighted at MobiTechFest Conference on October September 21, 2010 in San Francisco, CA.

Edinburgh, Scotland and San Francisco, CA, September 20, 2010 Ciqual, a leader in Mobile Broadband customer experience solutions, is among 12 companies that have been chosen to present to investors and industry executives at Investorfest Media’s MobiTechFest 2010 conference at the Microsoft Conference Center in San Francisco, CA on September 20, 2010.

More than 120 of the mobility industry’s top investors, innovators and executives will attend conference.

The event focuses on bringing together professionals from related disciplines to showcase the most promising innovations from the mobile and WiFi communications industry to a group of leading investors.

Investor firms that have confirmed attendance include: Artiman Ventures, Band of Angels, Blumberg Capital, Garage Technology Ventures , GlobeSpan Capital, Granite Ventures, Intel Capital, Javelin Venture Partners, Keiretsu Forum, Matrix Partners, Motorola Ventures, North Bay Angels, Opus capital, Palomar Ventures, Sandhill Angels, Scale Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures, Storm Ventures, TIE Angels, Trinity Ventures, Venrock Capital and Vodafone Ventures.

Formed in 2008, Ciqual has received investment from its founders, employees, PAR Equity and the Scottish Co-investment Fund. 'We are delighted to present at this year’s MobiTechFest. Since the formation of Ciqual, we have strongly believed that innovative UK companies can compete with the best Silicon Valley has to offer', said Tom Walls, Chief Executive Officer of Ciqual. 'We look forward to discussing our business plans with all interested parties at this event' '

We are very impressed with both the number and quality of submissions we received for MobiTechFest Americas. This is a showcase of the latest technology being developed in the mobility industry, and the event is a must-attend for innovators and the top investors in the field,” said Investorfest Media founder Gopan Madathil. 'We are pleased to select Ciqual from a list of more than 60 companies that submitted to present at this exclusive mobile industry focused venture conference.'

About Investorfest About Investorfest MobiTechFest™ is a part of the Investorfest™ series of events produced by Investorfest Media, a leading producer of early stage venture conferences focused on the mobile/wireless and life sciences industries. Since the organization’s first conference in August 2006, more than 80 companies have been featured and 64 of them went on to raise more than US$250 million in funding. For more information and to register for MobiTechFest Americas 2010, visit www.mobitechfest.com. Contact for MobitechFest: Gopan Madathil Investorfest Media +1 (415) 946-4038 pr@investorfest.com

CIQUAL - Completes 2nd Round Investment

This article is reprinted courtesy of Young Company Finance Scotland. (www.ycfscotland.co.uk). The Edinburgh based company has developed a system, Session Insight, which enables mobile operators and their manufacturers to get a real-time view of the service provided and the user experience. This enables providers to assure the operation of their network and deliver a high level of service, and it enables manufacturers of the wireless ‘dongles’ which plug into mobile laptops to ensure that their pre-launch testing has been successful.

The company was started in September 2007, and secured £1.25 million funding in March last year from Par Syndicate, an informal group of angel investors managed by Par Equity, and SE’s Scottish Co-investment Fund . A second round of funding from the same investors has been provided to fund the lengthy process of securing sales into large mobile operators, where projects have had to go through more levels of approval than previously.

One effect of the global economic downturn seen by Ciqual is that mobile operators have purchased its system as a managed service, rather than an outright purchase, resulting in a regular revenue stream rather than discrete capital purchases.

During this period, the growth of data traffic has outpaced the growth of voice on mobile networks, with the consequent growth in demand for mobile broadband. Data traffic on mobile networks is set to double every year for the next five years according to a recent report by Cisco*, with laptop and wireless ‘dongle’ users generating 70% of this traffic growth

Ciqual has this year had a major breakthrough, which could transform its business. This is a contract with one of the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturers for the supply of its products under a ‘white label’ arrangement. Details of the deal are closely guarded until the first sales are secured, with Ciqual recently completing its first live trials at a Spanish mobile operator for its new partner.

The equipment manufacturer in question had been developing its own technology for testing network performance, but decided to check what was available from third parties. After assessing a number of products, it was decided to work with Ciqual – not only a big win for the company in terms of business, but also a welcome technical endorsement.

The second funding round, complete in May, was an equity investment of £700k from Par Syndicate and SCF, of which £400k has been paid now, with the second tranche payable in September/October against agreed milestones. Ciqual was advised in this fundraising by DC Consulting.

Alba Innovation Centre Graduate Business CIQUAL Wins Top UK Industry Award

Scottish telecoms company CIQUAL has been named Britain’s top performing company to graduate from a business incubation centre.

The company, which has revolutionised the provision of unique intelligence and data to help telecoms providers throughout the world fully understand each of their users experience when using mobile broadband, was nurtured at the Alba Innovation Centre (AIC) in Livingston.

CIQUAL and AIC jointly entered the UKBI (UK Business Incubation) annual awards in the Graduated Business of the Year Category and lifted the prestigious title. This new award was introduced to recognise those businesses who have successfully been through the business incubation process and are now flourishing outside the Business Incubator but are still engaging and contributing to it.

UKBI Deputy Chief Executive, Peter Harman, praised the CIQUAL – Alba Innovation Centre relationship as a “shining example” of the incubation process.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for the company to win this award and it highlights the unique and professional support provided by The Alba Innovation Centre,” said CIQUAL Chief Executive Officer Tom Walls. “CIQUAL deliver a revolutionary solution at the cutting edge of mobile broadband communications and I am certain that AIC’s support greatly aided us to accelerate our business. I am sure that other incubator businesses in Scotland will also succeed due to the dedication, knowledge and professionalism of the AIC.”

Tom Ogilvie, CEO of Innovation Centres Scotland (ICS), who manage the Alba Innovation Centre on behalf of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Working with CIQUAL has been an honour and a delight. They epitomise the best of innovation in practice, developing a product that has revolutionised the market and a business model that is dynamic and ambitious.”

“The award also recognises the quality and scope of the support services we provide in nurturing embryonic companies to a point where they can move out of the supportive environment and succeed in the competitive business world at large.”

Jon Moore, of Scottish Enterprise, commented:” The UKBI award recognises the value of the incubation process in developing high growth potential companies like CIQUAL who are essential to Scotland’s continued economic development.”

CIQUAL was founded in 2007 by a management team with over 70 years mobile communications test and measurement experience in senior management, operations, research, development and marketing roles.

The company’s Session Insight system delivers the most accurate, real-time, dynamic view of mobile broadband service and user experience. With this insight, mobile operators can deliver an unrivalled mobile broadband service performance, assure the operation of their network and provide the superior care their customers demand.

Specifically in the UK, CIQUAL is addressing the need for mobile operators to measure the broadband improvements that are a fundamental part of the government’s ‘Digital Britain’ Initiative.

Earlier this year CIQUAL secured funding of £1.25M to accelerate product development and sales of its Session Insight System to mobile operators’ worldwide. The investment was financed by a consortium consisting of Par Syndicate and Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Co-investment Fund.

AIC was established in 2007 and is part of the Innovation Centres Scotland organisation which also operates the award wining Hillington Park Innovation Centre near Glasgow. Only 2 years after opening its doors AIC has been granted UKBI’s second highest level of accreditation.

The expertise of the AIC team of business advisors is in the field of growing young technology companies which along with its modern facilities, collegiate community of young entrepreneurs and prime location attracted CIQUAL to the centre. A unique portfolio of business support assistance from funding to market intelligence has been developed under the ‘accelerator services’ brand. Access to an extensive network of high-level business contacts whose experience can be brought to bear to inform decision making and early stage planning is also made available.

CIQUAL were also able to take advantage of the ICS Wireless Innovation team’s expertise in the field of mobile communications, including their connections to leading mobile providers and vendors such as Nokia and Motorola, and access to critical marketing intelligence and research from leading industry analyst firms.

The award was presented at the UKBI 11th International Conference gala dinner in Belfast