Ofcom has launched a new Android app designed to crowdsource data about how users’ smartphones are performing and what coverage they are receiving in their local area.
The regulator says that the aim of the new app is to create new data on call quality, 4G and Wi–Fi networks and user habits.
In turn, Ofcom says that this will help consumers make smarter choices when it comes to switching networks, as well as allowing those networks to tailor services better in the future.
The app, which is available to download from Google Play now, runs automatically in the background. It checks data speeds, network latency, the percentage of dropped calls and data network access.
Users will occasionally be asked to rate their network’s performance, as well as handing over information about their post code, age, gender and occupation. Ofcom says all data will be anonymised and properly protected.
While the app can see whether apps such as YouTube or Spotify have been opened, it cannot tell what has been watched or listened to.
Ofcom is hoping to get as many of the 20 million Android users in the UK on board. The data will feed into its reports and help networks over the coming years.