T-Mobile’s Coverage Map Goes High Tech With Real-Time, Crowdsourced Customer Data

T-Mobile isn't finished disrupting the wireless industry, not by a long shot. The wireless carrier's latest trick involves coverage maps. Typically when you view a wireless carrier's coverage map, you look at the ink blots denoting 4G LTE coverage and cross your fingers the company is telling the truth. Rather than go on faith, however, T-Mobile just rolled out a next generation network map that's based on customer data.

It's the industry's first crowdsourced, customer-verified network coverage map. Rather than "stubbornly" hold onto "old maps based on imperfect methods and dated technologies" like T-Mobile claims its rivals do, the nation's fourth largest wireless carrier instead is tapping into more 200 million actual customer usage data points each day for a near real-time reflection. It also uses data from "trusted" third-party sources like Inrix.

T-Mobile Map

"For years, every carrier has produced their network map in the same way, based on ‘predictive coverage estimations.’ The problem is that these maps are exactly that—best estimates," T-Mobile explains. "But for some time now, there have been far more advanced methods and technologies available to produce far more accurate coverage maps—based on the actual experience of real customers, like you and your family."

T-Mobile is sticking its neck out here. Where I live in southwest Michigan, the carrier's coverage hasn't always been that great, though it's been several years since I was a subscriber. When I checked the new network map, it looked like things have improved, though maybe not enough to convince me to switch.

"Satisfactory connectivity in some homes," T-Mobile's crowdsourced map indicates at my location.

Maybe if it would have said "most homes" I'd be more inclined to switch, but I give props to T-Mobile for its transparency. If you want to check it out for yourself, go here and punch in your address (or any location of interest).