Netradar is a free service that provides neutral, accurate information about the quality of mobile Internet connections and mobile devices collected by end users themselves throughout the world. Unlike other applications that mostly focus on bandwidth, Netradar anonymously gathers, measures and shares over ten different types of data
Users can not only see what is happening in their own location such as their signal strength and their device performance compared to other devices, but can also view maps and statistics throughout their geographical area at netradar.org. This information allows users to make decisions on the operator and the device they use.
The service, developed by Finland's Aalto University, is based on years of active research in analyzing mobile communication. The mobile applications can be downloaded from application stores and netradar.org. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can use the Netradar application to measure the quality of mobile connections anonymously and share the information with other users of the service. The application also displays maps showing what Internet connections are like in different locations. Mobile-phone manufacturers, operators and other stake holders can use this information to improve Internet connections of mobile devices.
- With this service, people using the Internet via a mobile connection can tell each other where the connections are good and where they are not. For example, users can view service areas and speeds of mobile networks on a map in real time and compare different providers. Our goal is to supply an accurate variety of statistics, analyses and comparisons of mobile devices and providers, explains Professor Jukka Manner, from Aalto University.
- The application and database will also be used for research, such as finding bottlenecks in the networks and modeling signal behavior in different environments. Data can also be used to study the effect of mobile devices themselves on the quality of network connections, because smart phones have a great number of qualitative differences when it comes to the speed and stability of Internet connections, said Sebastian Sonntag, Project Manager for Netradar.
For example, the Netradar service measures and stores location data, speeds of upload and download from the measurement server, the delay in data transfer, the vendor and model of the handset, the mobile operator, the base station, the signal strength, and the network technology used. This service does not store or aggregate personal data. Users can log into the application, if they so choose, by using third-party accounts, like Google's identification service, and view their user‑specific measurements on the Netradar web site.
The application can be downloaded, free of charge, from application stores and over the Internet, for the Android, iOS, Symbian, Meego and Maemo operating systems. Microsoft Windows Phone client is in final approval and will be available shortly.
The service will be expanded to cover wired and wireless broadband connections at a later date. In addition, new capabilities are in development along with more comparisons and features which will be released in stages as they become available.
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