Inakalum measures both Signal Strength (dBm) and Capacity (upload/download speeds Mbps) of all main Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) simultaneously and under the same conditions, to give a true reflection of the coverage users can expect in the areas we survey.
Signal Strength (dBm)
We continually poll the cell towers of all networks as we drive/walk around an area and we record the strength of each operator’s signal (dBm), building a complete picture of the mobile coverage in an area. Our results are displayed in coverage maps which show the individual signal strength readings we logged as we surveyed, showing granular street-level data with each record timestamped to show when the data was recorded.
Map pins are colour-coded to indicate the strength of the signal at each point and the maps for all four main network operators can be shown side-by-side for easy comparison.
Capacity – Upload/Download Speeds (Mbps)
A good mobile signal is essential for good mobile coverage, but it is not the only factor in delivering ` good user experience. That’s why we also measure data transfer speeds (Mbps) by continually uploading and downloading files to our AWS-hosted server and measuring the data transfer speeds as we survey.
Map pins are colour-coded to indicate the upload/download speeds at each point and the maps for all four main network operators can be shown side-by-side for easy comparison.
Not Spots – Find Them Easily
From a user’s perspective, a not spot may not be an area that does not have a signal. It’s very common to have 3 or 4 bars of 4G, or even 5G, coverage in an area but you still can’t load a web page on your mobile device. A good user experience needs both signal coverage and capacity, i.e. upload and download speeds that allow you to do whatever it is you want to do on your phone, whether it’s web browsing, video calling, streaming or uploading videos to/from social media platforms.
By using the filters in Inakalum’s mobile coverage web service, it’s easy to show good signal coverage on one map, whilst showing poor capacity (< 1 Mbps) on an adjacent map. Such areas may not be deemed as not spots by network operators or Ofcom, but the user trying to get service in the area may disagree.