If-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em approach to network testing
Even the most established players in the cellular industry can come under pressure from the power of the mobile app, it seems. So taking the if-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em approach, Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) is now offering its mobile diagnostic app for Android in the UK. Now GWS has a history of providing cellular network testing and diagnostics as long as your arm. And being US based, the company has an advantage because it had to produce solutions for iDen, TDMA and cdmaOne – not just GSM. Which helps when mobile network operators [MNOs] are making big leaps in technology from 2G and 3G over to 4G/LTE. GoMo News had a cosy chat with GWS’s Dr Paul Carter about the app.
What GWS’ Mobile Diagnostic App is designed to do is make ‘crowd-sourcing’ apps for network testing look absolutely amateur.
The problem is that MNOs can’t take the classic network analysis tools and apply them to specific venues, temporary events or restricted urban areas.
Carter revealed that his company can supply a rucksack [backpack] filled with high quality testing equipment from Swissqual that will deliver the goods.
However, the rucksack still costs thousands of bucks [$s] and is completely overkill for a small event – such as WOMAD Charlton Park, UK.
So what the company has done is produce its own app which currently runs only on Android but will become available for iOS in Q3-Q4 2014.
Carter explained that ‘crowd-sourcing’ apps which MNOs can deploy to deal with such situations are effectively just speed testing the network.
They can offer nowhere near the detailed network analysis which the GWS app can offer.
Better still the GWS is not only configurable – enabling the MNO to check specific parameters, but its collected data feeds into the standard GWS Mobistat reporting platform.
Dr Carter wouldn’t commit as to who exactly his ideal clients for the mobile app would be.
On the one hand, it could be a top-up for existing MNO engineering departments which normally rely-on on drive-by solutions.
It could definitely identify urban not-spots where there is no or little coverage for 4G, for example. Or where voice is still carried over 2G.
But GoMo News suspects it will also prove a handy tool for marketing departments who can use the app to prove that their cellular network offers better coverage in key locations.
And engineers will love it to because they won’t stick out like a sore thumb like before when they go to a football (soccer) match with a massive (and expensive) rucksack on their back.