T-Mobile recently introduced a new way for potential subscribers to evaluate the quality of network coverage for a certain area within the United States. This comes in the form of an extensive coverage map that is generated based on data collected by the major wireless carrier from its subscribers across the US over the years.
Basically, this network coverage map provides potential customers with a tool for determining whether T-Mobile has good enough coverage in their particular area, city, or region before deciding to sign up with the carrier.
T-Mobile is calling it the Next-Gen Coverage Map. According to Neville Ray, Chief of Technology of T-Mobile, this new coverage visualization tool is based on more than 200 million actual customer usage data points that the carrier collected on a daily basis.
The carrier has been trying to fight the perception that its network coverage has been lagging behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T in terms of reach and consistency. T-Mobile has often been billed as a carrier that only offers fast network coverage in metropolitan areas, not in rural areas or inside structures or subways. Now, with the Next-Gen Coverage Map, potential customers will really find out for themselves how good T-Mobile's coverage is in a given location.
Ray further explained that most wireless carriers have been generating their own network coverage maps similarly over the years. The difference is that other carriers produce their coverage maps using forecasted estimates. There is nothing wrong with estimates especially when they are made based on reliable information. But it can not beat real live data, especially those collected and updated regularly.
As for T-Mobile's Next-Gen Coverage Map, the carrier claims that it will be updated twice every month (about once in every couple of weeks). Moreover, T-Mobile's coverage map will aim to present data on various network categorizations. For instance, customers will be able to use the network coverage map in order to assess the quality of whichever network they are using or thinking of using, such as 4G LTE, 3G, or even 2G. If there are any gaps in the coverage map, the missing data will be filled in by third party vendors, like Inrix and Speedtest.net, who also get their information as supplied by customers.
Of course, some may wonder how far T-Mobile will go in sharing information about its network coverage. This type of data, after all, is potentially sensitive. And then there is the issue of accuracy. Yes, T-Mobile collects its data from the customers, but then the customers themselves may not be 100 percent correct in providing feedback.
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