BBC launches nationwide 3G survey

To create crowd-sourced coverage map

The BBC has launched an Android app in order to map the nation's mobile phone reception.

The free app will record each handset's mobile phone signal all the time the phone is switched on, with the data then plotted on an interactive map.

"If we succeed, this should yield some interesting results," writes the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones, the driving force behind the project.

All the rage

"It could tell us, for instance, whether our mobile networks are capable of delivering broadband connectivity in parts of the country where the fixed line service is patchy, whether coverage across cities is consistently good, and whether some operators are supplying a better service than others."

Unfortunately, only Android users can take part, "for technical reasons", according to Cellan-Jones, which he clarified on Twitter, saying "reason for no iPhone app – harder to make work in background".

No timescale has been given for the project just yet, but once the results have been collated the map will be published on the BBC's website.

If you're a UK Android user and would like to get involved, you can download the app from the Android Market at this link.


News Editor (UK)

It's a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she's constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. And having been immersed in the world of tech and tech rumours for more than six years, she can spot a photoshopped iPhone 8 image from 20 paces.