An app which is providing data for a BBC survey into the UK's 3G coverage has notched up 33,000 downloads.
The results will be collated and offered via a clickable map to give the first glimpse of what a 3G UK really looks like.
Veteran tweeter Stephen Fry has given the project his backing, encouraging "UK Androiders" to download it.
Epitiro, the data measurement firm that developed the app, said it had addressed concerns about battery drain.
"We have a new version of the app which doesn't test continually but for four hours at key points in the day. It stops testing if battery life drops below 30% but can test continually when a phone is being charged," said Iain Wood, a spokesman for Epitiro.
The app will provide data to show where the UK's 3G notspots are.
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Coverage is one of the biggest issues for consumers, according to regulator Ofcom, and it is due to publish its own survey in coming weeks.
Some BBC readers were delighted that the issue of coverage was finally being addressed.
"Great idea! Have installed the app on my phone and will watch the results with interest," commented one.
Others pointed out that there were other apps doing a similar thing - such as OpenSignalMaps.com
Some expressed frustration that the app was only currently available for Android handsets
"How many people in the highlands have Android phones? asked one annoyed reader.
We would like to offer you an opportunity to be part of a BBC project to obtain a snapshot of mobile broadband coverage in the UK("the BBC Survey"). This offer is subject to you agreeing to the following terms:-
1. In relation to the terms of this engagement, and unless the context requires otherwise: capitalised words and phrases shall have the meaning defined herein;
references to "you" or "your" shall be construed as references to you as the user of the App and as a participant in the BBC Survey; and
references to "we", "us" or "our" shall be construed as references to the British Broadcasting Corporation ("BBC").
In order to be part of the BBC Survey, you will need to download the free UK 3G Survey app ("the App") which has been developed by Epitiro. Please note that the App only works on android-based handsets. Please DO NOT use this App with either a Blackberry or an iPhone.
2. You acknowledge that whilst this is a BBC Survey, the App belongs to a third party which is not in anyway connected to the BBC. The BBC does not endorse the App in anyway whatsoever.
3. The App is provided "as is", and on an "as available" basis and we make no representations or warranties either express, implied or statutory (to the extent permitted by applicable law) in relation to the App. Nothing in these terms of engagement shall exclude any liability for death or personal injury.
4. We do not warrant that the functions contained in the App will be error-free, that defects will be corrected by Epitiro as the provider of the App or that any software within the App will be free of bugs and viruses.
5. The supply and availability of the App on this website does not in anyway obviate the need for you to carry out your own research as to the suitability of the App for your mobile phone device.
6. The use of the App is entirely at your own risk and under no circumstances will we be liable to you or any third party for any of the following losses or damage (whether such losses or damage were foreseen, foreseeable, known or otherwise):
(i) loss of data;
(ii) loss of revenue or anticipated profits;
(iii) loss of business;
(iv) loss of opportunity;
(v) loss of reputation or goodwill; or
(vi) any direct or indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages arising from your use of the App.
7. We understand from Epitiro that they will not publish any personal information or collate any personal information from your use of the App. However, the underlying data will remain the property of Epitiro who may create their own map/site afterwards.
8. We understand from Epitiro (but have not made any enquiries or carried out any research in relation to this) that the App uses very little bandwidth as it reports on data already present on the phone through its normal background communications within the network. For this particular App, Epitiro does not require dedicated use of the line other than to periodically send the test results to the BBC.
9. Whilst data for the Survey will be collected while the App is installed, the App can be uninstalled by you at anytime.
Another questioned whether excluding other types of handset would skew the results
"Android users are tech savvy and will be working/living in an area with good reception. After all if they had poor reception they wouldn't buy a smartphone, Android or otherwise, in the first place," pointed out one reader.
Brendan Gill, co-founder of rival app opensignalmaps thinks the Epitiro app should also measure download speed.
"It only measures signal strength and that is a limited metric," he said.
Speed tests conducted by Epitiro on behalf of Ofcom found that O2 and Vodafone were the fastest UK operators, averaging between 2 and 3Mbit/s, compared to Orange which managed between 1Mbit/s and 1.5Mbit/s.
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