Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

A company is trying to map America’s cell networks using mail trucks

February 13, 2023
62207a99894dd7f11937d4ad Ranlytics home page


Cell network coverage maps have always been dubiously accurate in the US, and even the ones released by the FCC in 2021 come with a ton of asterisks. A company called Ranlytics is hoping to make a much more accurate picture by attaching equipment to some of the mail trucks that are already driving to many locations in the US to deliver parcels and letters (via Light Reading). The data it collects will provide info on coverage quality “in a given town, on a given road, even at a given address”says the company’s CEO Keith Sheridan in an interview with The Verge.

In a press release earlier this week, Ranlytics says it’s working with the US Postal Service to measure AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon’s 4G and 5G networks in Seattle and that it’s already producing “the most detailed available” coverage maps for select areas in the city. (It says the equipment it uses is also capable of mapping 3G networks, but those are largely gone in the US.) The company also says that USPS vehicles repeating routes several days of the week lets it track coverage changes over time, finding both places where coverage doesn’t exist and where there is coverage but a lackluster user experience.

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