Were you affected by the wireless problems during the Raptor's victory parade? Even if you weren't able to be there (like me), there's a good chance you've encountered the same problem: lots of bars of signal on your phone but nothing works. How can we improve this experience?
Lots of people in one place = congestion at the on-ramp
Imagine you're in a car, it's fast and full of gas. There's a ten lane highway you can drive it on and when you do it's just amazing. The on-ramps are just one lane, but there are lots and lots of them so you can hop on the highway anywhere without hitting traffic.
Most days there are only a few people driving along the on-ramp to the highway, but today there are thousands of people all trying to use the same on-ramp all at once. It was never designed for this many people to use it all at once, so everyone is stuck at a standstill waiting for their turn to get on the highway.
During the raptors parade that's exactly what was happening. The radio access network (RAN) is the on-ramp to the internet or any other wireless service. To get online you need to connect to the wireless signal which comes from an antenna, just like your Wi-Fi at home or the coffee shop, and they have a limit to how many connections they can handle at once.
How would Connectivity Monitoring help?
Our Connectivity Monitoring will tap into the data your phone already measures while it keeps you connected, but even before you go to a problem area we can let you know that a problem will form or is likely.
For congestion to happen there needs to be a lot of people in the same place, or at least more than the normal maximum. As more and more people joined the celebration, the number of users connecting to specific antennas in the area or reporting their GPS location would increase. The increase would be abnormal and you could forecast increasing congestion and connectivity issues.
So, knowing that there is a good chance of congestion in one or more areas of the city our app could
- proactively alert you to potential connectivity issues if it's in an area you travel to/through regularly,
- notify you if the issues will be geographically close to you, and
- let you see if there are any potential issues before you go to an event like this.
What else? Let's say you're not going to the event, but you know someone who is, then you could check the app to see if there are areas with connectivity issues. Knowing that a phone isn't working because of the network and not because something bad happened to your loved one would have been nice during the reports of the Raptor's parade shooting.
What would make Connectivity Monitoring helpful for you?
We're building our app so that anyone can use it, even if you aren't a dotmobile subscriber.
Features like proactive congestions notifications only for non-subscribers if enough people use the app, but there are plenty that works even if fewer people use it. So what would make it useful for you no matter which network you're on? What do you wish you could know about your connectivity, either right now, in the past, or predicting the future?