What’s the best way to find out the best 3G or 4G network? Let all the users using the network report back with their experience. That’s what a new company called Open Signal aims to crowd source.
How does crowd sourced 3G mapping work?
We can all help to improve their coverage maps by grabbing the Android or iPhone apps. Once installed the app pings the cellular network you’re on and report back to the Open Signal servers. By recording the speed, network, tower and GPS location, Open Signal can determine which network has the best coverage in each area. Since speeds in any given area are constantly in flux, the data you see on the site today won’t be the same in the future. Also for now, the number of people in Thailand with the app is quite small, so the network survey is limited to those using the app.
Thailand cities and their best networks
Below are links to the maps of the major cities in Thailand, the current best network and their ranking compared to worldwide averages.
- Bangkok – TOT 3G – 17% Better than worldwide average
- Chiang Mai – AIS – 35% Better than worldwide average
- Pattaya – AIS – 15% Better than worldwide average
- Hua Hin – DTAC – 33% Better than worldwide average
- Phuket – DTAC – 25% Better than worldwide average
- Hat Yai – AIS – 49% Better than worldwide average
- Khon Kaen – True Move – 29% Better than worldwide average
Power of the crowd
Open Signal aims to provide visualizations and analysis based on the data collected, including cellular coverage maps that show exactly how strong signal is in any particular area, as well as all the nearby towers for your carrier. As this data comes from users with the app, the info is not quite a good representation of carriers in Thailand – yet. Looking at this map of towers, it’s clear that much more data for Thailand is still needed. The site has a goal of being the “global authority on wireless networks” and to get there they will need a large install base.
Mobile data usage tracking
The mobile app has a few nice features besides just helping with a supply of user generated data for the maps on the site. One of the nicest features of the app is the data usage display. The app keeps track of your 3G data usage as well as your Wi-Fi data usage. The good thing about this is you can keep tabs on your cellular data allowance as well as realize the whole amount of usage you put through your smartphone. They also provide a month-to-month graph to give you some data visualization ability.