Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology developed a new smartphone app that allows users to measure the actual download speeds of cellular providers and compare results in the specific geographic area. It also has security capabilities that can protect users’ identities.

RIT Cellular Metrics, the new app, simultaneously maps coverage areas and details the performance levels of cellular carriers in the area. The app is free and available through the Google Play store for Android devices.

“We developed a custom app because we wanted to know exactly which carrier—AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile—had the fastest connection speed at a given location, not just which had faster speed or better coverage on a regional level,” said Clark Hochgraf, associate professor of telecommunications engineering technology in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology and a member of the research team.

Next page: Surprising findings from the app’s analysis

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