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IMDA using IMconnected app for voluntary crowdsourcing of consumers' mobile broadband experience

Screenshots from IMconnected app

The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singpaore (IMDA) has been using a mobile application, called IMconnected, for voluntary crowdsourcing of consumers' mobile broadband experience, using the data to take measures for improving the quality of experience for users.

IMconnected gathers usage experience from users' mobile phones on mobile cellular networks such as 3G and 4G, as well as on Wi-Fi networks.

The app, available for both iOS and Android users, runs in the background of the phone and it collects and sends the information in anonymised form back to IMDA. Information is collected in data performance (session throughput, latency, packet loss per session ,data volume utilised), voice performance (experienced network coverage) and device identifiers ( manufacturer and model, operating System and location Information).

Information collected excludes mobile numbers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity and International Mobile Equipment Identity, name, age, NRIC numbers and address, photographs or video images from the phone, personal email address or any online profiles and data on usage of applications such as internet browsing history, URLs or call activities.                    The erstwhile IDA (now IMDA) launched the MyConnection SG (now IMconnected) mobile application as a pilot in October 2014, to complement the IMDA Quality of Service framework, allowing IMDA to have a better understanding of wireless broadband performance and consumers' service or usage experience. The successful pilot was useful for identifying areas for improvement in local mobile networks. Subsequently, the application was made available to both iOS and Android users.

As more users participate in IMconnected, IMDA will be able to gather more data points for better accuracy in the results. IMDA publishes the IMconnected results twice every year to increase information transparency and  to help consumers make informed choices on their mobile broadband plans and encourage operators to improve the usage experience for consumers.

Around 18 million data points across various parameters were collected for the period, July to December 2016. Examples of the data collected from the July to December 2016 period are below:

4G Signal Strength across Singpore
Left: Overall 3G & 4G Median Throughput (data download speed) Graph - Comparison Across Periods; Right: Overall 3G & 4G Average Latency (measured in milliseconds and is defined as the time taken for a data packet to travel from one point to another and back) Graph - Comparison Across Periods

Source: Results from IMconnected (Jul 2016 - Dec 2016)

The app is available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

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