Wanted: Volunteers to test telcos' mobile networks

The authorities want to use consumers' mobile phones to better gauge the quality of telcos' mobile services. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The authorities want to use consumers' mobile phones to better gauge the quality of telcos' mobile services. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The authorities want to use consumers' mobile phones to better gauge the quality of telcos' mobile services.

The Infocomn Development Authority (IDA) hopes to recruit 5,000 volunteers to download an app on their phones that will track mobile broadband speed, network coverage and any call drops or congestion problems.

Available on Wednesday for download, the MyConnection SG app works on both iPhone and Android phones to crowdsource the data.

The trial will end March 31 next year, after which the results will be published. The authorities hope that the data will provide greater transparency on consumers' mobile experience and urge telcos which are falling behind to buck up.

While the test it not meant to create a set of minimum standards for compliance, the crowd-sourced data will be used by IDA to help telcos improve their services.

"Crowdsourcing offers great potential to better understand the quality of consumers' mobile broadband experience throughout the day and at different locations," said Ms Jacqueline Poh, managing director of IDA.

The regulator said it will not collect volunteers' personal data including mobile number, identity card number, Internet browsing history and any stored data on the phones. Only the quality of links to popular websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Google will be tracked.

Users are advised to turn on the location tracking feature on their phones to provide IDA with location-based data on telcos' network performance.