Coverage. It’s a major issue. No matter how many coverage maps you look at, the actual signal strength is always a little different. The BBC are conducting a survey into mobile phone coverage here in the UK with the help of this free Android app. Their aim is to produce an accurate street-level map online which shows the actual signal strength and data type being received by customers.
The app itself collects data in the background and uses “very little bandwidth” according to the BBC. All data is provided anonymously.
According to Ofcom, there are over 12 million smartphones being used around the UK and a good service is crucial for the web browsing that more and more people demand from their handsets.
O2’s chief technology officer Nigel Purdy agrees that the current coverage checkers which rely on predictive modelling are not entirely accurate. But mobile masts bring their own challenges, according to Mr Purdy.
“Everyone craves good coverage but when we rock up to build a site near them it can cause problems,” he said.
We’re glad that this survey is taking place and we want to throw our full weight behind this. If you care about your mobile signal and want to show the mobile networks where those “no spots” or points of GPRS coverage are, get the app and start submitting data now. Pick up your phone and browse to http://bit.ly/bbcsignal to get it directly.
Here’s Rory Cellan-Jones telling us more about the project on his Samsung Galaxy S II …