Carrier Coverage is a community driven project that shows which carriers have the best signal strength in your area and around the globe. What carrier performs best in your neighborhood? Near your job? Will you get reception on vacation? How does your carrier and phone compare to the competition? Carrier Coverage answers these questions by collecting real data from real people, organizing it, and displaying in a meaningful and helpful manner.
Carrier Coverage works thanks to people like you. Simply download the Carrier Coverage Android App, select your participation level (among other settings), and Carrier Coverage will begin collecting information about your carrier and device performance.
We combine the data from all users and create aggregate reports for specific devices, specific carriers, and specific locations across the globe.
Carrier Coverage offers many levels of participation and you can even choose not to participate at all! We understand some people are worried about their privacy, and while we hope you’ll contribute, you’re free to use Carrier Coverage without sharing your information.
For those that DO want to participate (thank you!), you’ll be happy to know we’ve taken numerous precautions and measures to ensure that the privacy and battery life of our users are well protected. While we collect performance reports from individual devices, we only display this data in an aggregate manner that makes individual users unidentifiable. Your information is connected to a “GID” - a “generated id” selected at random by our servers - which allows us to understand how many different users are reporting information in various areas and for different carriers/devices. However, the identity of specific users is never shared or revealed.
Carrier Coverage uses the https protocol to further ensure security, and we’ve taken several additional measures within our website, app, and server to best protect the information we collect.
Carrier Coverage collects ONLY the data we think is vital to the project. We mainly collect data regarding your phone model, carrier, location, and network performance statistics such as your signal strength or if you’re on a 4G network. Don’t worry about whether or not Carrier Coverage is collecting information from your address book or e-mail inbox... we care A LOT about our users and ONLY collect the information we feel is necessary to provide the best service to our users now and in the future.
In an effort to remain as transparent as possible, we’ve included a list of ALL information being collected from each user, with a brief explanation of each:
** Note ** All data is transferred using a X.509 Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate
User Device Specific (header)
Location Ping Specific (each point)
Because Carrier Coverage is a new service that relies on real information from real users, less populated areas might show little or no data until we generate a larger user base. That’s exactly why we’re hoping people like you download our app and choose to participate.
Are you contributing data and wondering why even THAT isn’t showing in your area? See below.
It’s important to us that the information collected by Carrier Coverage is reported accurately. To ensure the quality and integrity of our data, we manually moderate each user’s carrier/device combination. We’re hard at work improving the service, but with such a huge number of new users each day, it may take us a short while to manually approve you as a contributing user. Once you’re approved, you’ll begin seeing data within a couple hours.
If more than a day passes and you still don’t see your data reflecting any changes, feel free to contact our support team and we can further assist you.
Absolutely. Users that choose not to participate can still run full reports for carriers, devices, and locations both on the website and within the app.
Aside from the manual moderation time seen above, you can expect both the app and website to be updated about every 3 hours. We’re storing and updating an insanely large amount of information, so while these times may fluctuate, every few hours is our realistic goal.
For now, since we’re building up a user base, the data reports show information collected within the past 6 months. As momentum grows, we’ll consider both narrowing the time frame and allowing users to filter results based on different time frames. But for now, as we attempt to grow, these parameters will remain in a fixed position.
Different carriers do have their own unique standards in providing their users with signal strength information. The most commonly known representation of the mobile phone signal is in bars. This is usually a set of four or five bars that vary in length to represent the reception.
Mathematically and scientifically, signal strength is measured in dBm (power ratio in decibels of the measured power referenced to one milliwatt ). Over the last few years of dedicated research, along with the help of an elite testing group, we have developed our own in-house methodology that accurately compares cross industry mobile signals. To most accurately compare and represent real-world case scenarios of mobile reception we use a four by four rating system.
So why four by four and not five by five? Most would think that you would get more accurate signal-to-noise ratio using a larger scale but in fact this is not the case. The five by five reporting system is commonly misused and is not appropriate for rating digital signal quality. The truth of the matter is digital signals have fairly consistent quality as the receiver moves away from the transmitting tower(s). Unlike analog signals that gradually fade over a distance, digital signals can hit what we commonly call a “digital-cliff” which describes the sudden loss of your signal. Another term used to describe this is sudden digital loss is the “brick-wall effect”.
Unfortunately all carriers do not have one standard way to represent users. This is where Carrier Coverage’s proprietary methodology comes into play. We take every situation into account whether it be phone type, network type, carrier, or a number of other variables to determine how we translate the reception into our distinct “real-world” representation.
Heatmaps are a feature we plan to implement in the future, but right now, we think it’s more important to collect and display useful data based on average signal strength. Without a lot of accurate data, coverage maps have extremely limited value, so we’re waiting for the right moment to release our coverage maps into the wild.
As noted in our Terms Of Service, Carrier Coverage will never sell your data or information to 3rd parties.
Whereas CarrierIQ was a private tool used by carriers and manufacturers to collect information from unknowing users, Carrier Coverage fully discloses everything at the time of download and even allows users to opt-out of data collection. Either way, ALL users can enjoy Carrier Coverage on the web or in the app without having to participate. CarrierIQ collected information for the benefit of carriers and manufacturers whereas Carrier Coverage uses the information gathered by willing consumers to directly benefit those participating with accurate and competitive carrier and device performance information.
Absolutely not. Feel free to read hundreds of positive reviews and comments we’ve received on Android Market. Carrier Coverage is a project built by Neverstill Media, LLC, who also run the popular websites Phandroid.com and AndroidForums.com. We’ve got a reputation to maintain and with Carrier Coverage we fully intend to continue our great relationship with the tech community.
There are several services similar to Carrier Coverage, but through 2 years of development, we’re confident that no other service focuses more on data integrity and user experience. We put our users first. We’ve created a service we think and hope the tech community will love and find truly useful. And we’ll continue to develop Carrier Coverage based on the feedback of our users... in fact, we already have!
Let’s get one thing clear: we have a lot of respect for our competitors. Several of them do an excellent job and we commend their accomplishments. We also welcome the challenges ahead: competition drives innovation and we’re eager to work hard and smart to continually improve Carrier Coverage. We hope you’ll join us for the ride... we can’t do it without you!
We fully plan on a global roll out of Carrier Coverage, but have restricted downloads to the United States for several reasons. With thousands of downloads in the first couple days, we wanted to ensure our team could be responsive with feedback, bug reports, and other support matters.
The United States offers an optimal environment with limited variables which is why it was selected for our initial release: (1) There are only a handful of popular carriers, (2) The English language will prevent complications with special characters in device/carrier/location names and URLs, (3) The geolocation heirarchy is straightforward with a predictable State > City relationship. (4) Limiting the geographic region limits the amount of carrier/device combinations needing moderation or custom coding recognition, (5) The Carrier Coverage Team is based in the United States.
Once we solve the issues our American users are having, we will work on rolling out Carrier Coverage internationally. This will likely take place gradually, over time, as we add countries one-by-one. It’s amazing how differently the carriers and manufacturers report information; there are so many special cases and scenarios that it would be counter-productive to offer international support in one fell swoop.
The term root comes from the user "root" name or account that by default has access to all system commands and files on a Unix file system. In our case, a root user on an Android platform is a user that has modified their device so they have full read and write access to their system file structure. It is also referred to as the root account, root user and the superuser.
Because rooted users can inherently alter the information on their device prior to Carrier Coverage collecting the data, we felt it was important to allow users to filter out rooted data if they prefer information gathered at a higher confidence.
Because rooted users are installing custom versions of the Android Operating System, it’s also possible that certain rooted devices perform more poorly at no fault of the carrier or manufacturer. Separating rooted users from non-rooted users also allows for comparing the two to identify any difference in performance.
If you’re having issues or problems with the website we ask that you’ll visit the Carrier Coverage Forum and share your experience. If you’d rather e-mail us directly you can contact us at support (@ symbol) carriercoverage (.) com
Thanks a bunch! Here are some great ways to help the Carrier Coverage project grow:
Most users have reported that, using the most rigorous participation settings, Carrier Coverage will use from 2% to 6% of your battery life in 1 full charge cycle. This number will fluctuate depending on your use of Carrier Coverage as compared to other applications, but we’ve worked extremely hard to ensure Carrier Coverage has the smallest possible impact on your phone’s battery life.
If you’ve noticed Carrier Coverage using a larger percentage of battery, this could be due to the way Android measures battery consumption. Perform your own test: charge your phone to 100%, keep your phone on and unplugged overnight (minimum of 5 hours), check your battery settings, and see how much battery was used by the Carrier Coverage application. Charging your phone to 100% is extremely important in conducting this test as it’s the only way the reporting cycle will clear!
If your own test still show Carrier Coverage is using significant battery life, please contact us in the forums or by E-Mail and we’ll try our best to resolve the issue.
To understand the answer to this questions you must first know the proper way to read and interpret your battery information. The battery usage details that are built into Android’s settings provide adequate information for one to determine how much juice Carrier Coverage actually uses.
If you first take a look at the Battery activity under settings you will find a list of applications and the percentage of battery each app has taken since the last reset of discharging. Older versions of Android may require you navigate to Settings >> About >> Battery >> Battery use. It’s important to note that the reset (in most cases) happens when the battery level reaches 100%. In that same window most versions of Android also show how long the battery has been discharging for, which we just learned is since the last time the battery was at 100% and fully charged.
**NOTE** The best way to test how much an application is using is to make sure it resets the discharge statistics prior to measure consumption.
Leave your phone unplugged overnight with Carrier Coverage running. This will keep all phone battery usages low while discharging mostly from only Carrier Coverage along with any other background applications. In the morning (5 hours at least) you should be able to get an accurate read on what percentage of the overall battery Carrier Coverage used since the reset point. If you are testing during normal daily use or not starting your measurement from a reset discharge point, this information can be highly inaccurate.
In the same battery overview window, you can click on each app to get the usage details. This will provide more information such as CPU total, Keep awake (when your phone is not in standby) and GPS. You may want to take a peek at these values before contacting support if you notice unexpected battery life behavior. You may notice a large amount of time if the app somehow froze or got hung-up in the background. Sometimes this could happen from conflict of other applications. If this is the case, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of the results of “good” battery testing and those three application usage details.
Average phone use you should see anywhere from 2% - 8% battery use depending on how much you open the app in the foreground and what you have your participation level set to. Most likely normal Carrier Coverage usage should be 6% or lower, if properly measured.
Great question. We work hard to support all our users and resolve issues in the quickest possible manner. We want you to have a great experience and hope you’ll keep our hard work in mind by giving us good ratings and reviews. Visit us in the Carrier Coverage Forums or E-Mail us directly to explain your problem.
We’ll be offering an international version of Carrier Coverage in the near future. Although it’s not yet on Android Market, you can get a sneak peak by downloading Carrier Coverage directly from our website. Be warned: you may encounter problems or find low amounts of data since international use is not yet supported!
This is not yet a feature offered by Carrier Coverage but something we hope to offer in the future.
Absolutely. We’re collecting a lot of useful data but until Carrier Coverage reaches a critical mass of users, displaying them statistically makes little sense. We chose to focus on the most important thing - signal strength info - and illustrate this the best we possibly can. We’ll include more features and options as time goes on. Network type and data speeds are among our first priorities.
We hope to offer versions of Carrier Coverage for all the popular mobile operating systems, but Android was hands down the OS of choice for this project. Android is found on more devices, carriers, and locations than any other mobile OS, making it the best solution. Not only that, both iOS and Windows Phone don’t offer developers deep enough access to make an attractive app.
Depending on the initial success of Carrier Coverage we will announce plans for new versions on different platforms, but for now we’re focused on perfecting our Android offering.
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