Cell Phone Transparency


We need more transparency with our cell phones data and signal connection; this is our suggestion on how to showcase more pertinent information.


The reasoning is fairly simple. Have you ever said “Why am I not able to download this webpage, I have full bars?”

Even that question pales in comparison to, “Why am I dropping calls, I have a strong signal?”

We believe that providers of both cell and internet connection need to give us a little more information.

The core information we need is bandwidth combined with an understanding of interference.

More than just five dots/bars to represent signal strength is needed.


The first item for transparency that we feel can be created in today’s environment is “Bandwidth.”

This is the rate of data transfer. While you may have a strong signal, your bandwidth is constantly changing based on many variables.

View of a Wi-Fi Connection indicator .
View for a Data connection indicator.

Those variables do not have to be accounted and shared for most consumer use, but being able to have an easy-to-view understanding of your current bandwidth will help troubleshoot when you have a solid signal but slow speed.

At very least, you will have more of an understanding as to your devices performance.

Bandwidth image used per Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandwidth

Our second idea for more transparency is to remove the five dots/bars of cell phone signal strength and add interference measurement.

Signal strength is showcased as a percentage of 1% — 100%.

Interference is represented by a radius approach.

Larger radius means more range, less interference. Small radius equals less range, more interference.

Next Steps:

Providers to offer up a solution to showcase transparency in current cell capabilities. It helps to have more back-story as to why our devices may not be performing as expected.

Bandwidth and interference go beyond just cell phone use. As evident by the Verizon VS. Netflix scenario. Whether or not “fast lanes” and other by-products of internet services are created, this type of transparency will keep consumer more informed to ultimately aid future progression.

The same need for transparency is happening within the advertising industry and visibility with ROI. But that is for another post. (smiley face)

Solution created by:
Neil and Derrick Hoag

Images created by:
Vocal Visual (unless noted below image)

3rd Party Resources: • teehan + lax iOS 7 Sketch Tools