The State of LTE March 2015

This year’s State of LTE report, published today, illustrates that there is a high degree of variation between LTE networks worldwide, both in terms of speed and coverage. While 4G LTE is considerably faster than 3G, it still lags someway behind the speeds promised in the initial excited burst of advertising – with no nation averaging speeds faster than 18 Mbps.

In the report we see South Korea as the first nation to achieve nearly 100% experienced LTE coverage – with the average user having access to LTE 95% of the time, an extremely impressive achievement. LG U+ are the best network in South Korea in terms of coverage, with the average user experiencing over 99% time on LTE.

For Speed we see Spain as the fastest nation worldwide (18Mbps), with Vodafone ES the fastest network globally with speeds of 25.2Mbps. Norway’s NetCom also performs extremely well for speed – averaging 23.6 Mbps.

In terms of US networks T-Mobile perform the best for speed, averaging 10Mbps and Verizon perform best for coverage – with their users having access to LTE networks 86% of the time.

Our report also finds that the average global LTE speed is 9.3 Mbps, almost 4 times faster than the average 3G speed.

Read the full report here –

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Beta-Test your way to MWC!

As you may have seen already, we have some extra tickets for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and we are looking for someone to claim them!

Some of these tickets we’re giving away to three people who give us the best reason for why they should go (via Twitter or Facebook, as explained in this Ticket-Giveaway post).

However, we have also reserved one ticket for a current beta-tester that gives us the best feedback for any of our apps (OpenSignal, WeatherSignal, or CrisisSignal). Here’s how to enter:

  • Send me an email (at with your feedback and include #MWCbeta in the subject
  • Write answers to the following three questions:
    1. Why did you download the app?
    2. What do you think works well in the app?
    3. What would you change about the app and do you know of a good way to do it?

We’ll announce the winner on February 18th! Please note that this is a giveaway for the MWC ticket only; flights and accommodation are not included.

Hope to see you at Fira Gran Via!

Fira Gran Via, venue for MWC 2015

Fira Gran Via, venue for Mobile World Congress 2015

Posted in Android Beta-Testing, Beta-Testing, Competition, iOS Beta-Testing, Mobile World Congress | Leave a comment

MWC Ticket giveaway 2015

**Update as of 23 February 2015** We have one more ticket available for MWC! Follow the instructions below to place your bid for the ticket. The winner will be announced tomorrow at noon.

At the end of February the OpenSignal team will be heading to Barcelona to attend MWC, the biggest event in the mobile industry calendar. As with previous years we have several tickets to give away – three in total this year (worth €700 each) – so if you want to spend the first week of March learning about what to look forward to this coming mobile year (as well as checking out the OpenSignal booth) then enter our competition to win a ticket to Mobile World Congress! It’s very easy: 1) Follow us on twitter and tweet us the reason why you should be the one to go. Or 2) Like us on Facebook and post the reason you should go on our wall in under 40 words. On Wednesday the 18th of February we’ll announce the winners over Twitter and Facebook, and send the them the code they need to claim their ticket. Just to be clear: this competition is for three tickets to Mobile World Congress only, participants are required to make their own way to Barcelona and sort out their own accommodation.

The OpenSignal Team at MWC

Come hang out with these cool guys!


Posted in Competition, Mobile World Congress | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mobile World Congress – Fiesta!

Going to MWC 2015? We’ll see you there! Come by our booth in the UKTI Innovation Pavilion, or meet us at one of the MWC parties and events we’ll all be attending!

Speaking of parties – what/where/when/who? Here is OpenSignal’s resourceful map and calendar of the parties in Barcelona during MWC. Enjoy!

For the map: Number in marker indicates day of event (e.g. 1 = 1 March 2015); Green – Free; Blue – Pay to Attend; Red – Invite Only;
Click here to see the map in your browser.

Now, the calendar view:

Friday, 27 February 2015

Imagine Express Hacktrain Departs
“Imagine Express is a program aimed to generate businesses in the Mobile sector. Imagine Express will take place during a 4-day trip by train that will travel from Barcelona-Paris-London.”
Time: TBD
Where: Mobile World Center, Barcelona
Registration: Free – Applications close 16th February

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Innovation on the Fringe
“The fourth annual Innovation on the Fringe event is happening on Sunday 1st March 2015. See the latest apps and services from your peers, chat about the challenges of running a mobile app or service and network with like-minded mobilists and enthusiasts.”
Time: 14:30- onwards (Festival lasts until 6 March)
Where: Talent Garden Barcelona, Carrer de Mutaner 239
Registration: Tickets @ €5

“Meet the press at the eighth-annual edition of ShowStoppers @ Mobile World Congress, the one event where the wireless industry, mobile leaders, innovators, award winners, visionaries, startups, upstarts and studios make new connections, promote brand, take leadership and open new business markets.”
Time: 16:00-19:00
Where: TBD
Registration: Invite Only

Mobile Sunday
“Mobile Sunday is where the stories that matter are launched the day before the conference starts. Connect with C-level industry leaders, influencers, creators, developers, investors, press & media and entrepreneurs working in mobile, wearables and the Internet of Things in a relaxed social networking environment before the hectic week begins!”
Time: 18:00-22:30
Where: Antigua Fabrica Estrella Damm
Registration: Tickets @ €20

Innovative Spanish Tapas and Cocktails with 2 Michelin Chefs
“We are two chefs with years of experience in Michelin restaurants who preferred to step out of the kitchen and share with our guests our story, inspirations and attention. The menu will consist of surprise signature tapas from traditional catalan cuisine, paired with famous regional wines.”
Time: 18:00-21:00
Where: The Hidden Factory, Carrer de Joaquín Costa 24.
Registration: €25

Monday, 2 March 2015

Next Executive Expedition
“In 2015 we will continue to deepen the dialogue about the key topics of the Digital Transformation. From March 2-4, we will travel to Barcelona with a group of CDOs and CMOS to join the Mobile World Congress.”
Time: TBD, Until 4th March
Where: Hotel Vincci Bit, Carrer de Josep Pla, 69
Registration: Separate Event Registration

10th Annual Ladies Lunch Barcelona
“Part of the Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival the Annual Ladies Lunch is a chance for us ladies to get together for an hour or so over a relaxed lunch.”
Time: 12:30
Where: Caravela Gourmet
Registration: Tickets @ ~€30

4YFN – Disrupted by Mobile
“4 Years From Now is an international programme presented by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and GSMA that brings together the best mobile start-ups and entrepreneurs with investors, accelerators, incubators and corporations from the mobile ecosystem.”
Time: 10:00, goes until 4 March
Where: Hall 8, Fira Montjuïc
Registration: Free to MWC Attendees

MEF Connects
“MEF Connects MWC 2015 also supported by TIMWE and Viacom International Media Networks, returns to the prestigious Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) to bring together over 650 international members and guests representing the global mobile ecosystem.”
Time: 20:00 onwards
Where: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Registration: Invite Only, Waitlist for Non-Members Available

Hot Topics – European Leaders
“Hot Topics hosts this must attend, invitation-only event for its 5th successive year! With the world’s mobile influencers, investors, entrepreneurs and game changers, all in one room, this is the one event you need to be at.”
Time: 19:00-22:00
Where: Hotel Omm Barcelona, 265 Carrer del Rosselló
Registration: Invite Only, Register Interest

Mobile Premier Awards
“The MPA 9th edition in Barcelona on 2 March 2015 will feature 16 of the most innovative Apps from all over the world pitching live on stage. The lucky 16 finalists have been selected among winners of the final season of Appcircus competitions and Appcircus challenges.”
Time: 17:30-22:00
Where: Sala Apolo, Nou de la Rambla 113
Registration: Tickets @ $10

IoT Stars
“IoT Stars is a startup pitching event for Internet of Things startups during the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona. 10 startups will be pitching in front of a top-notch jury at the emblematic Agbar Tower.”
Time: 18:00-22:00
Where: Agbar Tower
Registration: €25 Early Bird, €35 Standard

Imagine Express Hacktrain Pitch Event
“Imagine Express will take place during a 4-day trip by train that will travel from Barcelona-Paris-London. On arrival to Barcelona these teams will pitch their project at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress.”
Time: TBD
Where: TBD
Registration: Free – Applications close 16th February

Verto Data and Tapas
“Start the MWC week by meeting the thought leaders of the digital ecosystem at our exclusive invitation-only cocktail event!”
Time: 17:00-20:00
Where: Doble @ L’Eggs, 116 Passeig de Gràcia
Registration: Free

Mobile Marketing Party
“Join us for the second annual Mobile World Congress Mobile Marketing Party. Presented by the Application Developers Alliance.”
Time: 20:00-00:00
Where: Restaurante Marmalade, 4-6 Carrer de la Riera Alta
Registration: €20

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The MMIX – Official Mobile World Congress Party
“The Official Mobile World Congress 2015 Party features platinum selling Rudimental headlining with a DJ set, as well as International DJ and Dance star Roger Sanchez, both supported by Edu Natored and Ollie Humphreys.”
Time: 20:30-Late
Where: Italian Pavilion, Fira Montjuïc
Registration: €66

Mobile Marketing Mixer
“Look no further than the Mobile Marketing Mixer, which will be hosted at the spectacular Cerveceria Moritz, a unique building, transformed from the old Moritz beer factory into one of Barcelona’s coolest venues.”
Time: 20:00-00:00
Where: Fàbrica Moritz, Ronda de Sant Antoni, 39
Registration: Free (Event password is MobileMixer2015) – Register

GSMA Global Mobile Awards
“First presented at (what was then) the GSM World Congress in Cannes in 1996, the awards have grown and evolved alongside the industry and phenomenal growth of global markets to reflect the positive impact of mobile on all walks of life.”
Time: 18:00-22:00
Where: Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Hall 4 Conference Village, Auditorium 1
Registration: Free for MWC attendees

Women in Mobile
“This event is the perfect opportunity to learn from some of these leaders and listen to their mobile success stories. Our speaker lineup is 100% female but our male colleagues are more than welcome to attend and contribute.”
Time: 19:30-21:00
Where: MauMau, Fontrodona 35
Registration: Free

We ♥ Mobile
“Be part of the first “WE ♥ MOBILE” party presented by LOVOO and adjust. During the MWC15 we’ll have a unforgettable night in the centre of Barcelona.”
Time: 20:00-Late
Where: Shôko Club, 36 Passeig Marítim Barceloneta
Registration: Request Invitation Code

TechCrunch Barcelona Mini-Meetup and Pitch Off
“Participants interested in competing in the pitch-off will have 60 seconds to explain why their startup is awesome. These products must currently be in stealth or private beta. Applications open.”
Time: 19:00-22:00, Pitch Off @ 20:00
Where: Ailaic, Passatge Utset 14,
Registration: Open to All, Cost: €5.50

Inneractive’s Casino Royale Theme Party
“Inneractive is hosting the party of all parties. Join us for a Casino Royale theme party! Win prizes at the roulette and blackjack tables, enjoy tapas and exotic drinks and meet fabulous people in a night of class and mayhem.”
Time: 20:00-23:00
Where: Restaurante Marmalade, 4-6 Carrer de la Riera Alta
Registration: Free

Mobile Apps Party
“Join us for the {un}official Mobile World Congress Mobile Apps Party, an all-out celebration of all things apps!”
Time: 20:00-00:00
Where: W Hotel, Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1
Registration: €20 (Sold out)

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Connected Women Mobile Summit
“The Connected Women Summit at Mobile World Congress will explore how the industry can accelerate the female digital economy.”
Time: 8:30-13:30
Where: Fira de Barcelona – Gran Via: CC2 Auditorium, Upper Level, Hall 2
Registration: Free for MWC attendees

Swedish Beers
“It’s that time of year again when we all get together to celebrate all things mobile. And this year is an even bigger celebration as we are celebrating our 10th Swedish Beers party in Barcelona.”
Time: 19:00-02:00
Where: Calle Carme 40
Registration: Free

Airpush Cocktail Party
“Join us this year, along with over 600 of the mobile industry’s most influential players, in one of the best venues in all of Spain.”
Time: 20:00-23:00
Where: SALT Beach Club
Registration: Free for MWC Attendees

Wip Developer Smackdown
“What’s a Smackdown? It’s a live debate and cross-examination between developers on today’s hottest and most important topics. It’s developers talking with other developers to cut to the heart of the matter.”
Time: 16:00-19:00
Where: Fàbrica Moritz, Ronda de Sant Antoni, 39
Registration: Free

WiP Jameoke + Party
“Join us at the historic Fàbrica Moritz Barcelona on the evening of Wednesday, March 4 for the best developer event in Barcelona.”
Time: 19:00-23:00
Where: Fàbrica Moritz, Ronda de Sant Antoni, 39
Registration: Free

WebRTC Meetup Barcelona
“WebRTC is a web standard and movement to bring the power of real-time, peer-to-peer voice, video, and data communications with a few simple JavaScript APIs. This meetup will have speakers from Quobis, Disruptive Analysis, Tokbox and other companies leading in this space.”
Time: 17:00-22:00
Where: Poblenou Campus Auditorium – Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Roc Boronat, 138
Registration: Free – 40 spots left

Mobile Media Summit
“Mobile Media Summit @ Mobile World Congress will focus on mobile media and advertising global best practices from the top global brands and agencies. With superior keynotes, panels, and case studies, our agenda will combine world class speakers and insights.”
Time: 09:30-16:50
Where: Fira Gran Via, Hall 8
Registration: Separate Event Registration

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Mlove MWC After Party
“A grand finale and a true local experience after a hectic week at Fira!”
Time: 19:00
Where: CLDC Barcelona, Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 32
Registration: Free

Have we missed anything? Would you like to see other things on the map as well? Coverage, maybe? Stay tuned for our next blog post on getting connected in Barcelona – with the latest coverage map and curated list of Wifi hotspots.

See you at MWC!

Posted in Events, Mobile Trends, Mobile World Congress | Leave a comment

Microphones: the potential uses of a common sensor

At OpenSignal we love sensors. We’ve written several blogposts on the different types to be found on Android and iPhone devices and have recently published a comprehensive report on the topic.

But when thinking about sensors, one of the most basic and widespread is often overlooked: the microphone, present in every single cell phone – be it a super slick smartphone or the Samsung X840 I had for many years.

Even my old Samsung X480 had a couple of sensors...

Even my old Samsung X480 had a couple of sensors…

Some well known applications take advantage of this ubiquitous sensing device. On chat and social apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat or iMessage, the mic is put to work to record and share voice messages. The microphone is also used by Apple’s Siri and Google voice search – my husband “OK Google”s his phone at least a couple of times a day, often with questions (“How high is Cusco?”), sometimes with requests (“Show me a picture of a polar bear”). It is likewise thanks to the microphone that Shazam, SoundHound or TrackID™ can take a digital fingerprint of a song you’re listening to, which is then matched against large databases of tracks to give you the title of your tune of choice.

The potential uses of the microphone as a repurposed sensor are in fact multiple, diverse and very promising, as I discovered diving into a bunch of extremely interesting articles and papers. Here are some of the projects, apps and proof of concept software that reinvent the functions of the mobile’s mic.

Mapping noise pollution

I recently came across a wonderful website that any French-speaker map lover should check out: Among their many cool blogposts features an entry on crowdsourced maps to measure noise pollution. Some of these are generated through Android and iPhone apps that employ the cell phone’s microphone to take readings of urban ambient noise. Examples include NoiseWatch, Noisemap, NoiseTube and WideNoise. The literature on the subject is quite extensive as these applications are mostly the work of academics and environmental agencies – have a look at the table at the end if you want to read further!

Into the wild

But it’s not all about urban noise: cell phones also lend an ear to nature’s voice. And if you happen to be planning a visit to the New Forest National Park, you might consider downloading beforehand the Cicada Hunt app, an original piece of software that uses your phone’s mic to capture the sounds of the surrounding environment and let’s you know if there’s a cicada anywhere near you. More info about it can be found in one of our previous blogposts. Another wonderful project that plunges into the woods is Rainforest Connection. Their aim is to fight illegal logging by camouflaging solar-powered cell phones in the tree canopy; when the microphones in these devices catch the sound of chainsaw, the responsible authorities are instantly alerted.

Phone's mic can help save trees

Phone’s mics can help save trees


Health comes first

Smartphones’ microphones could open up an array of possibilities in the field of mHealth. They have been tested as a mean to monitor sleep patterns by listening to your movements – HappyWakeUp does exactly that to rouse you from your dreams at the most convenient stage of the sleep cycle. The microphone can be equally employed to measure social isolation based on the duration of ambient conversations: this is one of the functions of BeWell, an app that keeps track of your general wellbeing focusing on your sleep habits, physical activities and social interactions. The developers of BeWell have also been working on StressSense, a software that uses the microphone to identify stress in the user’s voice. As a matter of fact, cell phones’ mics can listen up not only for stress signs but also for pathological lung sounds, as shown by the creators of SpiroSmart, a smartphone-based spirometer. Last but not least, apps such as BioAid or soundAMP Lite can transform your phone into a hearing aid by amplifying the audio feed from the microphone and playing it back through your headphones.

What was that noise?

Smartphones have the potential to become extremely precise sound sensing devices, as proved by several apps and projects. In 2009, a research team from Dartmouth College published a paper describing SoundSense, an iPhone application designed to recognise and classify sound events detected by the cell phones’s microphone. In a similar fashion, the Batphone app works as a novel method of indoor localisation by recording room ambiance – the little snippets of noise are used to identify rooms previously tagged by the user. What’s more, a study conducted by researchers at Queen Mary University of London has shown that acoustic scene classification algorithms, exploited by applications of this kind, can achieve a mean accuracy matching the median performance of humans. That’s right: phones can be as good as humans at understanding where they are based on noises heard.

Cell phones’ mics will not only process and analyse different kinds of sound: they can also be programmed to produce particular noises for very specific purposes. Sonar, for example, works exactly as its name suggests – emitting sound to calculate the distance of objects from the echo. Another innovative creation is Chirp: this application produces a short bird-like song that triggers a download when “heard” by another phone running the app.

Chirp away your data!

Chirp away your data!


The starting point for new developments

Several of the apps mentioned here are the work of academic research, and as such, not always available on Google Play or Apple Store; but the prospective uses of the microphone as a repurposed sensor are no less exhilarating for this. Even more is to be expected if new hardware and software are combined. We have smartwatches in mind, but also projects such as iBats – an app that uses an ultrasonic detector plugged into the phone to collect bat sounds and map their distribution. Similarly, a team at Cornell University are working on BodyBeat, a sensing system composed of a custom-built microphone and an Android app that studies non-speech body sounds – those of food intake, laugh, breathing, cough. We will certainly keep an ear out for promising developments such as these ones.

"BeWell: a smartphone application to monitor, model and promote wellbeing"Nicholas D. Lane, Mashfiqui Mohammod, Mu Lin, Xiaochao Yang, Hong Lu, Shahid Ali, Afsaneh Doryab, Ethan Berke, Tanzeem Choudhury, Andrew T. Campbell5th international ICST conference on pervasive computing technologies for healthcare2011~05
"BeWell: Sensing sleep, physical activities and social interactions to promote wellbeing"Nicholas D Lane, Mu Lin, Mashfiqui Mohammod, Xiaochao Yang, Hong Lu, Giuseppe Cardone, Shahid Ali, Afsaneh Doryab, Ethan Berke, Andrew T Campbell, Tanzeem ChoudhuryMobile Networks and Applications, volume 19, issue 32014~06
"BodyBeat: A Mobile System for Sensing Non-Speech Body Sounds"Tauhidur Rahman, Alexander Adams, Erin Carroll, Bobby Zhou, Huaishu Peng, Mi Zhang, Tanzeem ChoudhuryInternational Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services (MobiSys), New Hampshire, USA2014~06
"Ear-Phone: A Context-Aware Noise Mapping using Smart Phones"Rajib Rana, Chun Tung Chou, Nirupama Bulusu, Salil Kanhere, Wen HuCoRR, abs/1310.42702013
"A continental-scale tool for acoustic identification of European bats"Walters, Charlotte L.; Freeman, Robin; Collen, Alanna; Dietz, Christian; Fenton, M. Brock; Jones, Gareth; Obrist, Martin K.; Puechmaille, Sebastien J.; Sattler, Thomas; Siemers, Bjoern M.; Parsons, Stuart; Jones, Kate E.Journal of Applied Ecology2012
"Microphones as Sensors: Teaching old Microphones New Tricks"Not specifiedThe Economist2013~06
"MusicalHeart: A Hearty Way of Listening to Music"Shahriar Nirjon, Robert F. Dickerson, Qiang Li, Philip Asare, and John A. Stankovic, Dezhi Hong, Ben Zhang, Xiaofan Jiang, Guobin Shen, and Feng ZhaoSenSys’122012~11
"Crowdsourcing of Pollution Data using Smartphones"Matthias Stevens & Ellie D’HondtUbiComp ’102010~09
"NoiseSPY: A Real-Time Mobile Phone Platform for Urban Noise Monitoring and Mapping"Eiman KanjoMobile Networks and Applications, volume 152009~09
"Towards Personal Stress Informatics: Comparing Minimally Invasive Techniques for Measuring Daily Stress in the Wild"Phil Adams, Mashfiqui Rabbi, Tauhidur Rahman, Mark Matthews, Amy Voida, Geri Gay, Tanzeem Choudhury, Stephen Voida8th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare2014
"Use of Mobile Phones as Intelligent Sensors for Sound Input Analysis and Sleep State Detection"Krejcar, Ondrej; Jirka, Jakub; Janckulik, DaliborSensors 11(6)2011
"SoundSense: Scalable Sound Sensing for People-Centric Applications on Mobile Phones"
Hong Lu, Wei Pan, Nicholas D. Lane, Tanzeem Choudhury and Andrew T. Campbell
"SpiroSmart: Using a Microphone to Measure Lung Function on a Mobile Phone"Eric C. Larson, Mayank Goel, Gaetano Boriello, Sonya Heltshe, Margaret Rosenfeld, Shwetak N. PatelUbiComp’ 122012~09
"StressSense: Detecting Stress in Unconstrained Acoustic Environments using Smartphones"Hong Lu, Mashfiqui Rabbi, Gokul Chittaranjan, Denise Frauendorfer, Marianne Schmidt, Andrew Campbell, Daneil Gatica-Perez, and Tanzeem ChoudhuryProceedings of Ubicomp 2012 2012~09
"A Survey of Mobile Phone Sensing"Nicholas D. Lane, Emiliano Miluzzo, Hong Lu, Daniel Peebles, Tanzeem Choudhury, and Andrew T. CampbellIEEE Communications Magazine2010~09
"Acoustic Scene Classification"D. Barchiesi, D. Giannoulis, D. Stowell and M. D. Plumbley.Accepted by IEEE Signal Processing Magazineto be published
"Participatory noise mapping works! An evaluation of participatory sensing as an alternative to standard techniques for environmental monitoring"Ellie D’Hondt, Matthias Stevens, An JacobsPervasive and Mobile Computing 9(5)2013~10
"Participatory noise pollution monitoring using mobile phones"Nicolas Maisonneuve, Matthias Stevens and Bartek OchabInformation Polity 152010
"The era of ubiquitous listening dawns"David TalbotMIT Technology Review2013~08
Posted in Mobile Trends, Sensors, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Meet us at MWC

This year, yet again, OpenSignal will be at Mobile World Congress. The conference in Barcelona is one of the high points of the year for everyone involved in the mobile space and a great space to see the developing trends in mobile and related industries. Our stand is in the same place as last year, so if you’re going to be at MWC then do come and look us up. The map below is a handy guide on how to find us, we’ll be in Hall 7 at booth 7b15. mwc_booth_directions


The map is slightly confusing (the aerial walkway looks suspiciously like a river) but if you’re in that area then the booth (and people within it) will look something like this:

2014-02-27 16.14.24We hope to see you at MWC, the conference is always productive and exciting and we’re looking forward to forming many more fruitful partnerships there again this year.

See you at booth 7b15!

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Mobile Sensor Networks: Creating a Social Laboratory

What is a smartphone? That seems like a simple question. On one level a smartphone is a communication device that allows people to communicate with each other, either by text or call, or over the Internet. The focus is always on person-to-person communication, but the modern smartphone is capable of communicating in ways that don’t require the involvement of any person at all.

Smartphones are increasingly laden with sensors, with common devices containing a barometer, lightmeter and compass amongst others. This means that the surface of the earth is increasingly being covered by a dense network of always-on sensors, capable of gathering huge amounts of information about the world and its inhabitants. This network is now being tapped into for the purposes of scientific research.

Our new White Paper on Mobile Sensor Networks examines the new research that can be carried out with this technology, arguing that crowdsourced mobile sensor networks have the potential to revolutionise scientific study; as they allow for the collection of sensor data at a hitherto-impossible scale and granularity.

Read the full paper here – Mobile Sensor Networks: Creating a Social Laboratory

Posted in Mobile Trends, Reports, Sensors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Report: The Global Prevalence of Dual-SIM Android Devices

Dual-Sim Android devices, we thought, were relatively uncommon. No one at OpenSignal owns a Dual-SIM device, despite being more aware than most about the coverage blackspots that plague every city in the world – including our own office.

We had assumed that Dual-Sim Android devices were a curiosity, with little commonplace application and low levels of popularity. Frankly, we couldn’t have been more wrong. Upon analysing the OpenSignal device library we discovered that 25% of global devices are Dual-SIM (or Multi-SIM) and that there are huge disparities between countries and regions. For this report, when we refer to ‘dual-SIM devices’ we refer to devices that are dual-SIM capable, as opposed to whether or not that capability in use (something that we cannot detect using this specific database). We have also used Multi-SIM and Dual-SIM interchangeably, as they show up the same in our investigative methodology but most Multi-SIM devices are Dual-SIM.

The US and UK both have low levels of Dual-SIM device penetration, at 1% and 4% respectively. Markets, including Indonesia, India, Russia, Thailand and the Phillippines (which account for almost 2 billion people), see multi-SIM Android device usage at over 40% – illustrating the dangers of basing one’s understanding of the mobile ecosystem on one’s immediate surroundings. The country with the highest prevalence of Dual-SIM devices was Nigeria, where Dual-SIM Android Devices account for 66% of the Android market.

Read the full report here:  The Global Prevalence of Dual-SIM Android Devices

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The Spring 2015 iPad Translation Challenge!

As many of you may know, the first iPad Translation Challenge ran from 1 Dec 2014 to 1 Jan 2015. We recently announced the results of that challenge, and at the end, promised a new challenge very soon.

iPad won by Serbian translator Nikola Stojanović

The iPad won by Serbian translator Nikola Stojanović

Well here it is!

The Spring 2015 iPad Translation Challenge will run from 22 January to 22 April 2015. The 22nd of April is Earth Day – which represents the global community we hope will participate in OpenSignal’s mission of crowdsourcing signal and sensor networks.

What are we translating?

The last translation challenge focused on the OpenSignal Android app, but this time, we have the OpenSignal Android app, the OpenSignal website, and the WeatherSignal app (learn more about WeatherSignal here) available to translate. To access the translation system, click on the following links for the project you want to translate:

Don’t forget that to submit translations, you need to register – otherwise we won’t know how many words you’ve translated! Registering only takes 15 seconds. If you have any questions on how to get started, just email me at

What is the challenge?

To determine the goal for this translation challenge, we’re going to play around with some language and smartphone statistics.

  • 6,909 – the number of distinct living languages in the world (Ethnologue)
  • 12 – the number of letters in the smallest alphabet, from the language Rotokas
  • 2 – the number of billions of smartphones expected to be in use in 2015
  • 41,454 = 6,909 * 12 / 2- the number of words that we hope to translate by 22 April!
Human Language Families Map

Human Language Families Map; Source: Wikimedia

What about the iPad Prize Draw?

It wouldn’t be an iPad Translation Challenge without an iPad Prize Draw! This time, we’re changing the rules a little to give more people the chance to participate in the draw. For every 500 words that you translate, you will get a ticket in the draw. So, if you have translated 1500 words, you’d get three tickets. Translated even more? More tickets still!

As with the last translation challenge, the prize will be an iPad Mini. If an Apple store is not available in your location, we will get you a comparable, alternative tablet.

Are you still giving out T-shirts?

Definitely! The rules for T-shirts haven’t changed. If you translate 1500 words, or refer someone who translates 1500 words, then you get an OpenSignal T-shirt!

Ready, get set, GO! Please join us for this massive, 41,454-word translation effort during our Spring 2015 iPad Translation Challenge. By helping us you help millions of people in the world get coverage or weather data, and you participate in new waves of crowdsourcing, technology, and citizen science.

Thank you!

Posted in Competition, Help Needed!, Translation | Leave a comment

“Can you hear me now?” The December iPad Translation Challenge

The results are in!

Our December Translation Challenge ran from 1 December 2014 to 1 January 2015 – we asked our community to help us reach 50% translation in every language for our Android App. How did we all do?

Translation progress, 1 Dec to 1 Jan

Translation progress, 1 Dec to 1 Jan

At the end of the translation challenge, there were 9 languages at 100% and 16 languages over 50%, out of 35 languages in the translation system. So, while we didn’t make it so that all languages were over 50%, we nearly had 50% of all languages at 50% translation!

What about the iPad draw?

As promised, anyone who translated 1500 words or more was entered into our iPad draw (as this was the first ever translation challenge + iPad Draw, translators who translated over 1500 words before the challenge was announced on 1 Dec were included in the draw). And the winner is:

Nikola Stojanović
Nikola Stojanović (19), from Belgrade, Serbia, is a student; translator, designer and video-maker in his free time. He attends the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Applied Studies, and his section is Audio-Video Technologies. He is already enjoying his new iPad Mini!


Nikola won the iPad Prize Draw! Photo Credit: Nikola Stojanović

We would also like to thank all of our other contributors who have participated in our crowdsourcing translation effort. We gratefully thank our participants who have translated 1500 words or more:

Some users chose to remain anonymous
Ferhad Fidan
Desy Kristianti
Thomas Lautenschlager
Francisco Palaio
Maikel Simões
Nikola Stojanović
Georgios Varsos
Univ. of Cambridge

Thank you to our participants who have contributed any amount up to 1500 words to our translation effort:

Some users chose to remain anonymous
Irena Atnaguzina
Univ. of Glasgow
Andrej Guseff
Pi R Square
Santiago Lorenzo
Lasuardi Permana
Jeremy Rieunier
Alessandro Vaccaro
Guiliano Zamboni

Thank you so much to all of you! With your help, our apps and mission can reach more people around the world, increasing our global community for crowdsourcing objective signal and sensor data.

Want to be part of the next iPad draw? Stay tuned for the launch of the next iPad Translation Challenge this week!

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