Phone users who are stuck with a mobile that crackles, cuts out and never connects have a new helping hand.
RootMetrics, a phone measuring company, has started making a street-by-street map of signal strength in the UK - and it hopes to help users choose networks that will actually work where they live.
'Three is best overall mobile operator for Londoners and key commuter areas around the capital but if you live in the city centre and use mobile internet often, Vodafone will likely deliver the fastest and most connected service,' says the company.
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It rates different networks for coverage in different areas via its site. So far, the company has monitored London and Hull, but is aiming to provide the service for other cities.
The figures for connection speeds are markedly different from official ones.
The company says, 'In the same way that car manufacturers provide Miles Per Gallon (MPG) figures, mobile phone providers spend loads of money testing their network to give details of coverage and network speeds.
'However, as with MPG figures, actual user experience is often very different from what is officially quoted.'
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'By testing the actual user experience on the ground with smartphones bought in the regular store, RootMetrics provides independent, un-biased information with which customers can make informed decisions regarding their mobile phone service.'
Company representatives take cases of phones 'on the road', testing speeds in locations throughout cities. So far, the company has taken 11,413 readings in London.
The company is already successful in the U.S., and its information can help users decide which network to choose to get a better connection where they live.
The company has just finished a street-by-street scan of London, with the rest of the UK to follow.
Employees test network speeds using cases full of smartphones running on different networks - but they also encourage the public to join in, downloading a RootMetrics app to measure speeds where they live.
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'Think the mobile phone companies won’t respond to one person’s opinion or test results? Maybe,' says the company.
'There’s power in numbers, though, and the carriers are paying attention to the results you’re gathering with our CoverageMap app and what we’re finding with our professional testing.'