Indian mobile users plagued by call drops usually move around a location till their devices show adequate signal strength. Thus, signal strength at a location is a key indicator for telcos for deciding on installing additional towers.
That seems to be the idea behind market leader Bharti Airtel’s latest move, opening up details of its network—Open Network—under Project Leap. Not just users, but the competition too can check the strength of signals live—2G/3G and 4G—through a mobile app as well as a website.
It provides information on both voice and data quality at the location. Users can use it to get information on existing towers, those that are being upgraded, those that have been forcibly shut-down and where new towers are needed nation-wide.
At locations where it is looking to set up towers, people can log in and inform whether they own the property and are open to setting up a tower. Users can also complain about coverage issues online.
A sassy move considering Trai is looking to crack down on telcos, Open Network—coming ahead of the launch of commercial services by Reliance Jio later this year—may also help push for addition of more towers in areas where, thanks to unreasonable caps on radiation, service remains poor across providers.
There are already enough apps that provide network signal information across operators. Yet, Open Network is a move that other operators can follow considering the flak that telcos have been facing on dropped calls.