Summary:

Mobile network testing startup RootMetrics has aims on international expansion, and the first country to get its hybrid-crowdsourcing treatment will be the UK. By combining drive tests, indoor measurements and crowdsourced data, Root plans to start comparing UK carrier 3G speeds in four to six weeks.

RootMetrics iPhone App.Screen Shot.Nov 2010

Seattle startup RootMetrics is bringing its hybrid-crowdsourcing approach to mobile network testing over the Atlantic. The company plans to issue its first batch of reports on how UK carriers compare on mobile data speed and reliability in the next four to six weeks.

RootMetrics uses a two-prong methodology to test networks. It does its own drive tests of city streets and indoor tests of buildings to come up with baseline scores, but then augments those results with millions of individual data points collected from its Android and iPhone crowdsourcing apps. It’s already used this system to build detailed cell-by-cell analyses of major US metro markets. Now big UK cities like London, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow are apparently in for the same treatment.

In its blog, Root has been encouraging US travelers to use the company’s crowdsourcing apps when on vacation – though due to the data drain from the app, you better have one hell of a roaming plan – but it has also recently made its smartphone apps available internationally. Though the company is still mostly unknown outside the US, customers all over the world have begun collecting data points that Root can use as it launches in new countries.

A recent speed RootMetrics speed test report for Chicago

There are no 4G mobile networks in the UK to test – not until Everything Everywhere gets its LTE network off the ground later this year – but the country’s multiple 3G networks will give Root plenty of fodder for its first reports.

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