Robert Wakeling: Wadaro Develops Software Solutions for License to Mobile Network Operators

August 5, 2022

Wadaro develops Software solutions for license to mobile network operators. Our products use small client Software in the SIM and eSIM to measure consumer Quality of Experience of those networks. Delusions of Grandeur has us wanting to fix the performance of all operator radio networks so that everyone can connect all the time.

Tell us about yourself?

I started life as an embedded Software Engineer when desktop computers were based on Z80 CPUs, a massive 64k of RAM and Digital Research CP/M Operating System .. well before the IBM PC.

I still consider myself to be an Engineer and am still actively involved in technical matters although the bulk of my recent career has been at CxO level and as a business owner.

I founded Wadaro 15+ years ago because I could not get a mobile signal at my house and, after a disappointing discussion with my providers care centre, I thought I could get that fixed.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

If you think something is broken, it is broken. Fix it ASAP.

What problem does your business solve?

Wadaro measures the end users perspective of their mobile network operators service. This provides operators with insight into how good/poor quality impacts each customer. Armed with information, they can choose to take action to improve their service in the most cost effective manner possible.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

One day, lounging at the back of my house, I wanted to make a phone call. Being too lazy to get up and use the house phone, I tried my mobile. I had no signal. Annoyed that I had to exert myself, I called my provider and the care assistant insisted that I had adequate coverage.

After a round of “no I don’t, yes you do”, I decided to leverage my contacts to visit the network where I was introduced to Core Network Probing and Drive Test as the main solutions operators use to measure their service.

Neither have anything to do with customer QoE and therefore nothing to do with the fact that I had no signal at home. Having spent a lot of time inside mobile phones, I decided that a better method of measuring service would be to get insight from each consumers’ phone rather than methods already used by operators at the time.

Today, the key measure of operator service we can measure is nation wide radio coverage. Operators can’t and, after cost, poor coverage is the main reason we customers go looking for a new operator.

What is your magic sauce?

Software in the SIM which enables us to measure service in retail mobile & IoT. There are few other companies that have succeeded to deploy SIM based Client Software at scale. We have achieved this though reputation and with large multi-€bn international channel partners.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

There is growing investment in IoT and Private Networks which are very small and we have our traditional business with very large operators. We will offer our Software as a Service so that we can say yes to all customers, large and small.

Ultimately, we want to enable customers to engage with us just as customers engage with the likes of AWS, GCP, et at for Cloud services.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Funding. 15 years ago, Venture Capital (with emphasis on ‘Venture’) was left to small regional funds. Outside of West Coast USA, VC was far too cautious. To engage with a big international market, we needed big money.

We did not get it so we had to grow organically but we did help ourselves by partnering with large multi-national vendors of security products for operators to include the humble SIM card.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Ultimately, we want everyone that sells mobile connectivity to adopt SIM QoE. It will help them ensure access to service for all their customers. Aside from the economic benefit to the operator, there are some some possible social impacts such as access to the Internet, micro-Banking, etc in depressed economies, less pollution from Drive Test and more.

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