Sure, you think your network's good. But just how good is it? Root Wireless is looking to answer that and crowdsource the nation's cellular network, at that. Today it released a free beta application that utilizes smartphones as network monitoring devices. (Check out CrackBerry.com's interview with them at CES in January.)
Supported Android devices are the Google Nexus One, Motorola Cliq, HTC Droid Eris and T-Mobile G1.
Here's how it works: You load up Root Wireless' app on your phone, and use it to monitor the network. Then you sign in at MyTrueCoverage.com, and your network strength is plotted on Google Maps. A handy tool if you're looking to determine just how good (or bad) a cell carrier is where you live, work and play. Full presser after the break.
Root Wireless Releases Network Monitoring App
for Blackberry, Android Smartphones
Crowdsourcing Consumers to Help Benchmark Wireless Services
BELLEVUE, WA – March 22, 2010 – Root Wireless, Inc., developer of patent-pending technologies that measure the performance of wireless networks and smartphones, today released its Root Mobile™ crowdsourcing app for Blackberry and Android smartphones, a free beta application utilizing smartphones as network monitoring devices to help consumers determine which wireless service is best for them.
Root Wireless introduced the application last year when it launched Root Coverage™, an online service that empowers consumers to make better informed purchasing decisions by mapping and comparing network performance in many of the largest U.S. cities, where Root Wireless measures and reports the performance of services provided by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Now the company seeks to speed expansion of Root Coverage by encouraging consumers to download Root Mobile and join a grassroots crowdsourcing effort contributing device-generated data that accurately measures true network performance as experienced when using wireless phones.
“No one carrier is best everywhere, but everyone can find the carrier and phone that are best for them,” said Root Wireless CEO Paul Griff. “It’s encouraging that thousands of smartphone enthusiasts have pre-registered to help map wireless network performance and we expect that, as the effort is more widely understood, the data provided by crowdsourcing consumers’ phones will provoke fundamental changes in the way that people evaluate and purchase their wireless service.”
Root Wireless gives users of Root Mobile a personal website where they can view maps illustrating the performance of their own phone and the performance of their service including network signal strength, upload and download speeds and connection failures. User privacy is strictly protected and the data their phones contribute is anonymously added to the aggregated pool of data that Root Wireless makes available to the public.
“Our business is inspired by consumers who want true, unbiased coverage data, and by the many enthusiasts who are excited to use their devices to gather data needed to change the way phones are bought and sold,” Griff said. “We expect that those using Blackberry and Android handsets will do a terrific job of kick-starting crowdsourcing on behalf of all consumers.”
Root Mobile conducts tests that measure signal strength, data transmission speeds, network connection failures and other performance indicators. It is noteworthy that these tests differ from data transmission speed tests conducted by others using PCs, precisely because Root Mobile is engineered to determine real-world network performance as experienced by people using smartphones – findings that for the first time objectively measure and map true, real-world performance from the perspective of the smartphone consumer. Users can choose to run a network test when they want. The application otherwise runs unnoticed in the background. Now available for supported Blackberry and Android handsets at www.mytruecoverage.com, Root Mobile will be released for handsets running Windows Mobile operating systems before the end of the second quarter, and the app is being engineered for the iPhone.
Root Wireless already maps 15 U.S. metropolitan markets where consumers can compare wireless services in their neighborhoods – right down to specific street intersections in cities including New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Dallas and San Francisco. (Please see Root Coverage at http://reviews.cnet.com/
“We encourage those with Blackberry and Android handsets to take the initiative now to help map their hometowns for the benefit of everyone there,” Griff said. “That’s one of most exciting promises of crowdsourcing, the opportunity for communities of consumers to create valuable information that’s otherwise unavailable to them.”
About Root Wireless
Root Wireless is the developer of Root Coverage™ service, cellular network performance mapping created by patent-pending technologies that audit and analyze cellular network and device performance. The Bellevue, WA-based company’s products include Root Mobile™, a sophisticated crowdsourcing application that turns smartphones into network monitoring devices that measure the quality and reliability of wireless services, as well as the performance of handsets connecting to the networks. For more information, please visit www.rootwireless.com.