Did you ever check to see which carrier offers the best coverage in your town? Or – worse – did you ever wonder which carrier’s pre-pay SIM you should buy when you go on vacation? It’s hell, right? Those maps are so deeply hidden in the carriers' sites that it’s almost like they didn’t want you to find them.
Enter OpenSignalMaps, which is not only an independent map showing you the 2G, 3G and 4G coverage in much of the world, but is also just about the sleekest and slickest map/info site we’ve ever seen. And it works just great on iOS devices.
The web app is simple to use. Tap in your ZIP code (or postcode), or use the pull-down lists to choose a country and city, and you’ll be shown a heat map depicting coverage in the area. The various carriers are shown in a list, and you can toggle them on or off, see the actual cell towers' locations, and view stats like network speed and reliability.
Magically, the tables and details change as you pan around the map with your finger, and you’re not just limited to the US and Europe. Swipe the map down towards Africa and the updates continue.
If you use an Android device, there’s an app download for you. On iOS, though, the web page works so well in Safari that it’s hard to see why a native app would be needed. Bookmark this one for your next trip, or for the next time your cellphone contract is up for renewal.