Israeli startup company Onavo, which has developed a cellular application helping lower mobile roaming costs, won the Best Mobile Company and Public's Choice awards at the Next Web Startup Rally of TheNextWeb blog, held in Amsterdam last week.
"Everything we do with smartphones consumes mobile roaming," explains Guy Rosen, one of the company's founders, "including applications, using a browser or receiving emails.
"But mobile roaming costs money. When I'm in Israel
I have limited roaming packages, and abroad all the more so, the prices are astronomic."
Rosen, a cloud computing expert, founded the company with his friend Roi Tiger, who was formerly at device manufacturer Modu.
"During the conference in Amsterdam we launched an application which saves money by compressing the iPhone's data transfer," Rosen explains. He says the application is capable of doubling and tripling the roaming package.
Onavo's technology is capable of taking a certain amount of data required for mobile roaming – and shrink it. In addition, the application shows the user the amount of information consumed by each application.
Some 500 companies applied for the Next Web Startup Rally and about 20 reached the final, which was held last weekend.
Following the awards, the small Israeli company received massive media exposure, including articles in Time and the Wall Street Journal. Important technology blog TechCrunch even defined the company's application as a "must download". The application is currently free.
According to Rosen, the small startup does not fear resistance by the cellular companies.
"They too are looking for a solution which will make people travel with their phone and not turn it off, and not purchase a local SIM either. On the interior level, mobile roaming has created an overload on the networks, and any solution reducing the load is welcomed."