Ofcom crowdsources mobile market research to 20m Android users

27 Sep 201613 Shares

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Ofcom wants to create an accurate picture of mobile coverage in the UK. Image: Amirraizat/Shutterstock

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UK watchdog Ofcom crowdsources measurement of UK mobile networks to 20m Android users.

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is calling on the UK’s 20m Android users to help it gather valuable information about mobile coverage, reliability and performance.

The regulator is requesting Android users to download a mobile research app that will help gather information about mobile coverage, reliability of voice calls, mobile broadband performance and users’ experience and habits.

Ofcom said that the data gathered will be anonymous.

‘Activities such as streaming music or video calls can put strain on mobile networks, and Ofcom wants to better understand how current trends are likely to affect future demands’
– OFCOM

The reason it hasn’t sought the support of iPhone users is due to Apple’s rules against apps that run in the background.

Highlights of the findings will be displayed on the app’s home screen.

Benchmarking real network performance versus the claims of operators

The regulator says it hopes to build an independent benchmark for both consumers and industry, and help support users’ purchasing and switching decisions.

The data gathered will feed into various research projects, including a new study comparing telecoms operators quality of service in spring 2017.

“More and more people are using their smartphones for diverse, demanding applications,” the regulator said.

“Activities such as streaming music or video calls can put strain on mobile networks, and Ofcom wants to better understand how current trends are likely to affect future demands.”

UK mobile map. Image:Ammiraizat/Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com