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Carrier Coverage Wants Your Network Experience to be Optimal, But It Needs Everyone’s Help

  

On Friday, a company called Carrier Coverage reached out to us with a new app that they referred to as being like Carrier-IQ, only it aims to help consumers rather than carriers. Using the term “Carrier-IQ” was an odd way of framing their position, but they had a snazzy video and what seemed like a decent enough idea that we gave it a look.

So what exactly is it? Carrier Coverage wants to have enough data to be able to tell you which carrier and phone is the best in the areas that you visit most frequently. Actually, it goes beyond that. Let’s say you plan to take a vacation or move into a new house – this app will eventually tell you if your particular carrier and phone will be able to perform at the level you need it to. By gathering data through their app (location, carrier, signal strength, and more), they should be able produce some useful info, assuming they get enough users. 

How are they gathering data? They will obviously need access to some pretty important and private info. The good news is that they acknowledge that they understand the importance of security and allow you to choose whether or not you participate (find the options in Settings). They also let you choose how often your phone is pinged so that it isn’t a complete drain on your battery.

Rooted users.  If you are rooted, they have said that they can’t use your data (initially) as it may compromise their intent. That doesn’t mean you can’t still utilize the app and its benefits, it just means that they can’t use the info you send. Sort of makes sense.

Here are some additional features that they plan to introduce:

  • 3G vs 4G comparison
  • Heat maps
  • Specific address/radius support
  • Data speed tests
  • International support

Sound interesting enough? I can definitely see the long-term benefits of an app like this, assuming that enough people decide that it’s secure and worth their time.

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  • http://twitter.com/jdrch Judah Richardson

    Old idea: Root Wireless and other apps have been doing this for years.

  • Bewara2009

    Just app is amazing.. 

    • Bewara2009

      This….

  • Bradley

    This app has been out since at least last summer…

  • Greenmunky

    … except for the fact that they won’t use data collected from users of rooted devices.  

  • Granted

    “They reached out to you”? Haha! Is that what they call greasing palms these days?

    But seriously…..man you’ve sunk low once again. One day you’re complaining about invasions of privacy, now you’re advertising, and actually backing and advocating a huge intrusion of privacy. It doesn’t matter that they were so “benevolent” to state how they use the data they’ve harvested. A guy slamming a snub-nosed revolver, breaking through my teeth, into mouth, and telling me he is going to splatter my brain matter on to the wall behind me. Well it’s still going to suck quite a lot regardless of whether I knew about it beforehand. I would be willing to wager that the intentions of this company are the farthest thing from being altruistic.

    With how many companies there are keeping tabs and invading privacy….you actually think I would volunteer to repeat the ongoing process? Haha!!!

    • Anonymous

      What the hell are you talking about? You don’t like the app? Move on. No one is “slamming a snub nosed revolver, breaking through your teeth, into your mouth (Obviously where else do you have teeth?), and talking about splattering your brains on some unsuspecting wall”.

      Cool it Clint Eastwood and take off your tin foil hat.

  • PC_Tool

    If this is form phandroid, I wonder if any of them could give us some info on what information is gathered, who sees it, and perhaps exactly how deep this rabbit hole goes….?

  • Guest

    Maybe I’m too hopeful, but if something like this gets popular enough, people will be able to make decisions about what carrier they want based on the data.  This would push the carriers to give us better overall coverage.

    Right now, all I can see is that the Verizon map looks impressive, and they seem to have the best coverage.  Hard data would be nice.

  • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

    If this helps the price of my monthly subscription go down I would help or else I could care less or creating this type of database. Sorry

    • http://www.facebook.com/plattrob Rob Platt

      you -could- care less?

      • Anonymous

        He’s saying that he does care about it to some extent.

      • PC_Tool

        Obviously.

        If he cared less, he wouldn’t have posted.

        Sheesh.   :-P

  • http://twitter.com/Jason13L Jason Lassourreille

    I like this concept; hell, I liked Carrier IQ’s concept too. HOWEVER, and I mean that in caps, I can not find any information on this company from their web site. No contact us, No info, No nothing. This makes me more nervous than Carrier IQ was since I was able to call them directly and knew where they were located. I think we need solutions like this; but, I do not think this is the answer.

    • QtDL

      I agree with this. When you go to their site the about, terms, and legal links all go to the same place….the carrier tab. No info about the company make me a little suspicious too.

  • Dliuzzo110

    Looks like carrier IQ hiding in plain site

    • Granted

      Ding ding ding! You win a life of being highly perceptive! That is a compliment.

      It kind of reminds me when Congress pushes out an insane bill to get people riled up. Only so it can shadow the original bill they intended to enact from the beginning, and saying this second bill is actually much better and less insane than the first one. But, of course it’s actually the exact same bill and most of the time way more heinous. The classic ruse! My point so expertly validated by the fact that Carrier IQ was even mentioned in the post, as an example of what it looks….”Oh, but no, it’s not THAT scary, it’s better.”.

  • OMJ

    Kinda funny that you guys are promoting and app made by phandroid.com/androidforums.com

  • Anonymous

    Verizon Unlimited Data!!! that’s the best. Any Smart phone is garbage if the data connection is slow. If you have sprint, t-mobile AT& T, metro pcs-Sh*%t and you try Verizon’s 4G Extremely fast data you will bitch slap you old carrier, LOL

    • HeLLo

      Maybe YOU should bitch slap yourself for thinking everyone would switch to Verizon just to get LTE.I don’t know what is worse the iCRAP fans or the Verizon fanboys maybe the same both show too much stupidity.

      • Anonymous

        HEY….. Take it eeesyyy….  I said LOL….. dam dude take a PILLLL….

  • http://twitter.com/Tutunkari Kukari

    Ironically my Rezound can neither find it nor will the Market push to it.
    Seems they refuse to monitor one of the most powerful phones out there.

    Also, from the Market comments, it appears they refuse to take data from rooted phones.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

      From the market comments?  It CLEARLY says that rooted phones cannot be used at this time in the article.

      • Anonymous

        It works fine on my rooted Rezound. Where does it clearly say that rooted phones cannot be used at this time? It just says the information from rooted phones is not collected.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

          That is what I meant.  Rooted phones *information cannot be used.

  • ddevito

    Lumberg says: “yeeeeeaaaaaah, um, we have sort of a problem here. You see, the thing is, no one wants this app.”

    yeeeaaaahhh

  • Crazydog

    I had this installed on my phone months ago – it must have been pulled and re-released.

    • John

      it’s just an app doing what others are already doing. same stuff dif day

      • Crazydog

        No – I had this EXACT application installed. I remember the UI.

  • Fri13a

    Sounds like Sensorly. Which has been around and covers more carriers. I have been using Sensorly for almost two years to collect coverage details for my area.

  • Caveman978

     Better solution, already has crowd sourced info.  Sensorly.
    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.sensorly.viewer

    • Anonymous

      Came to post the exact same thing. And it already has over a year’s worth of data points.

      • http://twitter.com/shystie1 Shystie1

        I’ve using Sensorly for well over a year and really like it. It’s kind of hard to find areas not already covered by it. 

      • fish1552

        Same here. If this app uses less power though, I’m sold.

    • Anonymous

       Hopefully both Sensorly and Carrier Coverage can get big enough that the carriers can see where they need to improve there network and see what real people are getting.

  • Anonymous

    Personally… since I have unlimited data on VZW, VZW essentially has a customer for life… or until other carriers offer unlimited again.

    Sprint and their garbage network doesn’t count.  Unlimited data doesn’t mean a damn thing if you never have enough of a signal to use it.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto..

    • http://twitter.com/Kanestapler Kane Stapler

      Sorry to steal your post, but Kellen is this that “secret” app you blocked out the other day on your post? I have been so curious.

      • Anonymous

         Seriously?  WTF is this being flagged for? (Not replying to Kane, but replying since I can’t reply to my original

        Original comment was:

        Personally… since I have unlimited data on VZW, VZW essentially has a
        customer for life… or until other carriers offer unlimited
        again.Sprint and their garbage network doesn’t count.  Unlimited data
        doesn’t mean a damn thing if you never have enough of a signal to use
        it.

        Guess the sponsor didn’t like that line of thinking.

    • Peter Kelly

      Not sure if you’ll have unlimited data AFTER you renew again.  If there is something in the contract that guarantees unlimited in perpetuity, I missed it.

      • VZW Unlimited Data

        Its called Grandfathered in pretty much if you have Unlimited you won’t ever loose it. Thats why i also will be a Verizon customer for life.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/fitman88 Fitman88

          lose*

      • mark arnold

        Yes you get to keep the data plan. 1 yr ago i used my mothers upgrade to get myself a thunderbolt. i just recently got the RAZR MAXX, and was able to keep my unlimited plan and all features. i will be on that plan for a very long time

    • Anonymous

      Unlimited Verizon data isn’t too great….especially since they throttle users after 2GB (top 5%) and that number may decrease as top data users change to cheaper/no throttling phone plans.

      Also, once Verizon has family data plans, unlimited data will seem less and less worth it when compared to the savings it “should” bring.

      • Dante

        I am at 7 gigs of data this month and Verizon has not slowed my connection at all.  

        • Dante

          Actually I was wrong. I am at 9.5 gigs, and a speed test showed me running at 35Mbps down – 16Mbps up. I hit 15 gigs of data on my plan last month with no throttling. 

          • Anonymous

            Where in the world are you getting that kind of speeds? I’ve never seen those kinds of speeds on 4G (except at the super bowl apparently). I’ve gotten throttled at 2GB before, but then again I am on 3G.

          • Dante

            New York City. 

            I’m sorry to hear about your throttling. I know it happens, but I have never experienced it myself. 

      • Anonymous

         I travel for work.  I frequently use over 2 GB.  I’ve never been throttled. 

        In any case, I’d rather be throttled at 2 GB than pay for going over 2 GB. 

        • Seth

          Believe me you don’t want to be throttled. They cut you down to 2G speeds. May as well disconnect it altogether.

          • Anonymous

            I’m pretty sure I’d rather my stocks, emails, weather, and other small amounts of data than be charged extra for using my phone.

    • Noyfb

      How much is CarrierCoverage going to pay us for our information? Even the credit card companies through me a free hat and t-shirt for applying. Give me ten apps of my choice and its a deal I say

  • babadush

    For some reason this reeks of legal carrieriq to me

  • John

     http://coveragemapper.com has been doing this for a long time