Optus delays mobile storage lockers

Consumer Cloud storage service put on hold

Optus is in preparations to launch its own version of popular storage locker service Dropbox, allowing mobile customers to back up their data to the telco’s storage infrastructure.

The product was soft-launched this month with a website, Web application and smartphone applications delivered for some platforms.

Under the service, customers on Optus’ mobile network can sign up for the service and choose a free 500MB storage limit, or add 10GB or 300GB storage limits for $5.99 and $14.99 per month, respectively.

Each account can back up and access data from five assigned computers or devices, either through a Web-based application or smartphone applications currently supporting Windows Mobile 6 as well as some versions of Android and Symbian S60.

The smartphone applications include automatic backup software provided by F-Secure and delivered over 128-bit SSL 3DES encryption.

Mobile data used to back up and retrieve data from the service would be unmetred, though any data used over the service through Optus' fixed network would still count towards user upload and download quotas.

A spokesperson for the telco confirmed with Computerworld Australia that the company was planning a wider launch of the service later this year, though Optus Mobile customers would be able to sign up without limitation immediately.

However, it appears plans for a fuller launch of the service were delayed.

In a letter purported to be sent to Optus resellers, the telco asked dealers to hold off on putting up promotional material for the product:

“The launch of Digital Life product Optus Smart Safe has been delayed until further notice," reads the bulletin. "Please do not sell the Optus Smart Safe bolt on until advised otherwise.

“Please do not display any of the Optus Smart Safe collateral until official launch of the product which is now to be advised.”

Optus SmartSafe represents the number two telco’s first move into consumer Cloud services, following the introduction of several business Cloud services late last year. In September, the telco launched its first infrastructure-as-a-service platform, one it pitched as a hybrid on-site and private Cloud offering to enterprise customers.

In March, the telco announced it would offer the Cloud-based Google Apps productivity suite to small to medium businesses in a direct ploy against Telstra’s own software-as-a-service T-Suite Cloud, on which it offers Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite.

The SmartSafe service bears similarities to other storage locker services offered by the likes of Dropbox, which provides two or more gigabytes free Cloud storage on desktop computers and through smartphone applications to more than 25 million users.

However, the company was forced to clarify changes in its terms and conditions last week that indicated it would willingly hand over user data to the US Government if asked.

Follow James Hutchinson on Twitter: @j_hutch

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags Cloudstoragecloud storageoptusstorage backuptelcosOptus SmartSafe

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