"I, however, would love to strap the backpack on and wander around Hampstead to be able to answer the question my friend Richard asked" How long before I get shot by the Police.
US mobile network checking company Global Wireless Solutions says there is a gap between its traditional way of testing mobile coverage using vans driving around with $300k of testing kit in the back and crowd-sourced reports on quality of mobile network coverage. The problem with using vans to check networks goes beyond cost …
Or even like the Root Metrics app, which aggregates data from lots of users and then sells it back to the operators. It even plots it on a pretty map for folks to browse.
Saying that, drive testing type data is always useful as you get the proper GPS track along with it, rather than the cute hexagons offered by Root Metrics (not sure if the data they sell to the operators is better, though, as it obviously does log the GPS for each measurement)
A lot of this info can just be sniffed by the mobes - no need to transmit and interfere.
Obviously more advanced tests could be done with transmitting data, but you could easily imagine a good build of this s/w being able to schedule calls/downloads for each device from one central point
I've done some work with one of the UK mobile companies to improve signal coverage for our business. Their engineers use normal mobile phones connected to laptops to record/plot the signal data.
As to the mobile companies not knowing what the other operators coverage is like, I don't buy that. From my dealings with the mobile companies in the UK, they know exactly what the competition's coverage is like. I was with one engineer, and he had a map showing the cell locations of all the networks for the area we were working in.
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