According to uSwitch one-third of UK mobile users get patchy or no call reception in their own homes. When I lived in London, I used to belong to that group. Reception problems hit me so hard that I needed to start generating ideas how to improve the situation.
When I bought my UK SIM card, I did what most of us do when buying subscription. I compared the amount of voice call minutes and data bytes against the price. All operators were marketing how they have the best network in UK, so I thought all of them would work just fine. I was quite suprised when I noticed that at home I could not even make a 2G voice call properly. The only place where I could make a voice call without problems was in front of a window. Situation was unbearable, because I worked from home.
Because I also needed reliable mobile data connection at home, I was curious to know if other operators could offer me better indoor coverage – perhaps even 4G. I checked operators’ coverage maps and they all showed good indoor 4G coverage. In the real life, my current operator could not offer even 3G. I decided to do some testing and bought operators’ pre-paid SIM cards. Luckily, I managed to find an operator which offered me a good voice and data connection.
In the middle of all of this I started to wonder: could there be an easier way to test networks than to buy SIMs and try them out one by one? I searched Android Play Store for operator comparison applications, but there were none with the capability to measure all available operators’ signal strengths at the same time. It turned out, that Android API did not offer this information and that an operator comparison application would need extra support from chipset SW.
Application I was looking for would give the user possibility to see with one measurement which operator has best coverage at the specific measurement location.
Application would therefore give users new possibilities to test and benchmark networks. Application could do single measurements and measure networks also every 10 minutes during a day or a week to have results over longer period. Results could then be stored to the cloud and visualized on a map.
According to my experiences, there is no “the best operator or network”. Network coverage varies a lot depending on the location, so it would be very useful to have the possibility to measure and compare networks where the phone is mostly used on daily bases.
Have you experienced reception problems? Could an operator comparison app help you to improve your reception? We would love to hear your opinion!
Certum phone is the first reception performance maximized mobile phone and the only phone manufacturer in the market to offer application developers new API for operator comparison application. Certum phone’s target is to develop new reception improvement applications together with Android enthusiasts, experts and start-ups.
About the writer
Janne Knuutinen is the CEO of Zero Reception Oy and the developer of Certum Phone. He came up with the idea of redefining reception while struggling to make a call from his apartment in London.