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Facebook and Ericsson, working together as part of the internet.org initiative championed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to boost online connectivity in emerging markets, claimed they can improve app performance by up to 70 per cent.

The companies said they have developed a methodology to measure and optimise network performance that can be applied globally. A joint project created a framework for evaluating user key performance indicators based on simulated Facebook app use cases using a test agent and correlating those with network statistics.

By identifying and addressing user-impacting issues, they said they were able to increase the number of connections completed within three seconds by 70 per cent, reduce the time to content by up to 70 per cent and cut upload time up to 50 per cent.

The test project, which ran on Indonesia’s XL Axiata’s network, is part of the internet.org initiative, which aims to connect the two-thirds of the world’s population that is not yet connected.

The initiative has three areas of focus, one of which is to use data more efficiently. Other areas are developing technologies that make mobile connectivity more affordable, as well as exploring new business models (including free internet access) to stimulate mobile data usage.

Facebook and Ericsson are among the founding members of internet.org, as are Qualcomm and Samsung.

Chris Daniels, VP of internet.org at Facebook, said: “The project will help ensure we have more efficient use of existing network capacity and resources, which is key to delivering on our mission to close the connectivity gap.”

XL Axiata CEO Hasnul Suhaimi said data traffic jumped 142 per cent last year, and more than half of its 62.9 million subscribers are data users and a majority of those use Facebook.

The country has the fourth-largest Facebook user base in the world. But 75 per cent of the country’s mobile subscribers are on 2G GSM/EDGE networks.

Suhaimi said he believes this is the first time that an operator, network technology provider and application provider have cooperated on such a project. “XL is proud to be selected by Facebook as operator partner in Indonesia.”

Facebook is hosting an Internet.org event, a mobile developer workshop in Jakarta on 13 October.

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