gr8signal: measuring SA’s mobile networks

An independent, crowdsourced measure of South Africa’s mobile network coverage

November 4, 2012
gr8signal thumbnail

LucidView, a company that specialises in network data analysis, and MyBroadband, a company that specialises in awesome, have launched gr8signal – a service to independently measure mobile network coverage in South Africa.

Gr8signal’s initial release is for Android only, and lets users anonymously report whether they are receiving good signal quality from their cellular provider.

Developed with the help of Toby Kurien, the gr8signal app gathers data such as the cellular signal strength and GPS co-ordinates reported by an Android smartphone and sends them to LucidView’s servers.

The data is processed and displayed on a map on the gr8signal website.

Tim Haak, lead developer at LucidView, explained that new data is pulled to the map every few hours, so users won’t see the map updating in real-time.

gr8signal Android screenshot

gr8signal Android screenshot

He also emphasised that the only moderately personally identifying piece of data collected are device identifiers, which are needed mainly to be able to clean up data from a misbehaving device, Haak said.

“We take privacy very seriously,” Haak said. “We collect as little as possible personal information and anonymise everything as best we can before displaying it on the site,” Haak said.

Other things the app handles conservatively are cellular data and the device’s battery.

Haak explained that by default the app only uploads the data it has gathered when connected to a Wi-Fi network. It also only logs data points when the signal strength has changed significantly, Haak said.

Both these options can be changed in the app’s settings by unchecking “Wi-Fi only” and switching on “Turbo Mode”.

LucidView also plans to add more features to the app and site, Haak said, such as letting users view and download their own data and showing which networks have the best coverage in a particular area.

Another piece of data that ’s collected which LucidView plans to use in future is whether a device is connected via GPRS, EDGE, 3G, or HSPA.

This would ideally offer additional insights into the quality of operators’ radio networks across South Africa.

The app is available for download from the Google Play store immediately and some coverage data is already displayed on the gr8signal website.

Gr8signal coverage map - the beginnings

Gr8signal coverage map – the beginnings

MTN 3G coverage update

Cell C improving network performance and coverage

SA mobile subscriber numbers compared

Behind Vodacom’s coverage battle

Tags: gr8signal, Headline, LucidView, mybroadband, network coverage

Free Email Newsletter:
Subscribe

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – technology images can be found here

Join the conversation

Connect with MyBB

twitterfacebookandroidappleblackberrynewsletterfeed

Poll

Do you use the Post Office to send letters or packages to people?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

EU plays cyber war games

Credit card hacker

A European Union cyber-security agency was in Athens to conduct the largest exercise ever held on the continent to prevent attacks on Europe’s public utilities and communications networks

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 accidental damage warranty explained

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung explains why it decided not to offer all of ADH Premium’s benefits with the Note 4

Apple CEO thankful for being gay

Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks on stage during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook publicly came out as gay in an article he wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek

Axxess improves mobile data rollover

Axxess Mobile data rollover

Axxess has adopted a first-in-first-out mobile data rollover policy, where the oldest mobile data will be used first

Free MyBroadband Newsletter:
Subscribe
X
bool(true)