A US company mapping mobile coverage has jumped the pond – nimbly bypassing the operators – and is now providing detailed UK coverage maps by combining professionally gathered data with cloud-sourced samples. Root Metrics was set up in 2008 and has been happily plotting US network coverage since then, using researchers with …
.. is pretty sparse round me but I was more than happy to add my T-Mobile GPRS upload and download failure figures (This is an area where T-Mobile assure me I have a very strong signal)
No results at all for where I live.
But that might just be because...
...because you don't live in Hull?
We in Lincolnshire are famous for stating the bleeding obvious...
We've got a great idea for a coverage checker - we'll be launching in Hull this year.
BBC been there before
Isn't this like the BBC 3G survey from 2011?
Shame they're not still gathering data to fill in the gaps...
AND it covers more than just Hull!
Re: BBC been there before
What Root Metrics is doing is not unlike the BBC survey, but it's different and much better.
The BBC map just shows whether there is or isn't 3G or 2G coverage, doesn't tell you the signal strength and provides zero information on how well mobile data works (this is frequently bad even when mobile signal is strong).
From what I see of the Root Metrics map, it looks good. Yes, coverage is sparse right now, but as all they need is for people to download their free app, that can only improve. And the data they have seems accurate e.g. it shows Vodafone in Canary Wharf as having strong signal but poor or worse mobile data - exactly as it is.
I hope this takes off. A good, accurate and precise source of network voice and data coverage would definitely be something I'd use when picking a network to move to.
There are other apps out there that already do this, and have more UK information.
Re: other apps
That is exactly what I was thinking - http://opensignal.com/ is one I use regularly.
El Reg, is this a paid for article?
Re: Re: other apps
No, this article wasn't paid for.
I like OpenSignalMaps, but I do think the launch of Root Metrics was interesting both from the detail they're reporting (speed of connection as well as strength of signal) and the business model.
Re: other apps
Bill - do you suffer from mild nominative determinism?
Sticking PE10 9NE  into OpenSignalMaps reveals two things:
1. It's a map of user locations, not coverage. Where coverage is sparse it's pretty much a map of individuals.
2. What the hell is going on in Auster Wood? 
 Lloyds bank. I use their postcode instead of mine, for privacy reasons. I don't care if minor criminals stalk PE10 9NE, they are already outclassed.
 more likely to be poaching than dogging. It does make me wonder about a pikey logging site.
[2'] Auster wood: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1290138
Re: other apps
I wanted to come back with some further feedback. I tried the application anyway, and actually it does have a feature that the other apps don't have - the ability to see your results within about 10mins of gathering the data. Most of the others take weeks or even months to show the data.
So +1 to them for that and thanks for the suggestion.
some evidence that it's not just Apple having problems with maps
Needs some work - the text location of Wellington College is shown as east of Crowthorne in Berkshire when it is on the west. The difference between the two positions is about 2 miles. Can we assume similar accuracy in the location of the hexagons?
Re: some evidence that it's not just Apple having problems with maps
that is odd... i know that area well, so I was interested and had a look. you're right, if you look on Google Maps it is the same... a reference to Wellington out past Broadmoor Hospital. When you zoom in it disappears. There is another reference to it on the West side of Crowthorne (where it actually is) though.
reminds me of when the london eye was tagged as being halfway down Waterloo Road.... The number of lost tourists i walked past, standing there prodding their smartphone of choice and saying "But Google says it's here...".
Interesting operators listed
I can see coverage of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon in London... which together all sound like US operators. Having to do with roaming handsets not properly seeing that they weren't on their home network?
Re: Interesting operators listed
Sprint don't allow roaming in UK - so it can't be roaming phone reporting the network as Sprint when in London.
I've always found Ofcom's SiteFinder to be reasonably accurate and a good indicator of signal.
It tells you whether masts are UMTS or GSM
<a href="http://www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk/search>Ofcom SiteFinder</a>
Oops, missed the closing quote after 'search'
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