OpenSignal is a company that specialises in wireless coverage mapping. The company crowdsources data on carrier signal quality from users who have its consumer mobile application installed. Consumers can view the crowdsourced data either online or in-app in the form of colour-coded maps that aid purchasing decisions by showing unbiased data from different carriers side-by-side. In 2013 OpenSignal was named the "UK's Most Innovative Mobile Company" by UK Trade & Investment.
In August 2014, OpenSignal raised a $4 million Series A investment from Qualcomm Ventures, OATV and Passion Capital.
Products and services
The OpenSignal application points the user in the direction of better phone signal, measures signal strength, data speed and reliability, and displays nearby Wi-Fi networks. Users of the app share information with OpenSignal, which is used in their independent maps of carrier coverage and NetworkRank service. As of March 2013 the app has been downloaded over 3 million times.
OpenSignal NetworkRank is an online and in-app service which allows the user to compare the performance of different cellular carriers in particular geographic regions. The service is a part of their carrier maps, which are colour-coded to show areas of strong and weak mobile phone signal. All information used in the NetworkRank service is provided by users of the OpenSignal application.
OpenSignal produce regular industry and consumer reports which are based on information crowdsourced from their app users. They have worked collaboratively with the BBC and TV 2 (Denmark) to create interactive maps of 3G 'notspots' in the UK and Denmark and have additionally produced general reports, on topics as diverse as how mobile phone screen size affects data use to the state of Android Fragmentation.
In May 2013 OpenSignal released a second crowdsourcing app on Android, WeatherSignal. The app makes use of native sensors on Android phones, such as barometers, hygrometers, thermometers, magnetometers and lux-meters, to gather information relevant to meteorology which are sent in real-time with the aim of creating live weather maps. After one week over 2 million readings had been collected.
After iPhone 6 included a barometer, the OpenSignal team built a version of WeatherSignal for iPhone.
CrisisSignal is an Android app that helps identify the status of communication networks (and outages) in emergency response areas. The app interface is a real-time dashboard of signal strength, available networks, and additional metrics. CrisisSignal has been used to assist with the relief efforts in Ebola affected regions.
Using the data collected from the OpenSignal app, OpenSignal is building WifiMapper, an app exclusively dedicated to finding free Wi‑Fi hotspots. The app available on iOS and Android.
OpenSignal crowdsources signal data from their users in order to measure the true state of carrier coverage. By crowdsourcing their data from client devices, OpenSignal are able to build a picture of the network as it is experienced by its users, rather than modelling coverage using drive testing. Currently mobile operators use different methodologies when it comes to compiling their coverage maps, OpenSignal standardises this process in order to give consumers insight into which network will provide them with the best coverage in their area.