After spending 5 days in the Colorado Rockies, and driving across western Kansas I can tell you that cell phone coverage pretty much sucks in rural America. I know that some of the issues are geographical. Cell signals can’t travel through mountains, and if cell towers are a hundred miles apart you might drop service. None the less almost every cell provider in the lower 48 will tell you that you will have uninterrupted service as you drive west on I-70.
OpenSignal in the UK (winner of the UK’s most innovative mobile company 2013) realized this problem is universal on both sides of the Atlantic and the startup has introduced an app that allows cell users to report their coverage in real-time. This means that cell users can cut through clutter to find honest, crowd-sourced information about signal strength and reliability. App users can track signal coverage across maps, that also display nearby wi-fi networks.
“The most innovative aspect of our project is that every app user shares signal information with us, meaning that we have built up the most complete database on carrier performance in the world, much of which is viewable in-app or on our website opensignal.com. We’re trying to build a community to help dispel some of the mystery associated with how carrier’s networks perform.” Samuel Johnston, brand strategist, OpenSignal.
Oh and it works here in the United States as well as Europe.