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A Look Inside America's Digital Divide

Place 1 vs Place 2
Let’s compare the mobile experience in (place 1) to the more rural (place 2).

By merging two powerful global data sets, WorldPop and our Network Cell Info, M2Catalyst brings critical new insights into the global effort to bridge the Digital Divide.  WorldPop provides the population density for every country down to grids smaller than 1 square kilometer. When overlaid by the hundreds of billions of network performance data points contributed by our Network Cell Info community, we’re able to identify the potential underserved communities, i.e., those without access to mobile broadband (4G/5G) or even to any mobile signal whatsoever.

The abovementioned hundreds of billions of data points includes billions of bad signal readings, where mobile phone users have either no signal or such poor coverage that they likely can’t even make a phone call. M2 makes these bad signal readings available for free to the respective Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) upon their request. 

Most mobile performance studies are focus on network speed.  At M2Catalyst, we take a broader and more comprehensive approach. Using our proprietary methodology, M2Catalyst provides a fresh look at the mobile market, determining where the world’s population does not have mobile broadband (4G/5G) access, right down to the small communities in every country. 

 
The below image shows the 656k locations where citizens are poorly connected.
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The top 3MNOs in this market (T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon) all make continued investments in both bridging the digital divide and advancing the quality of connectivity through the addition of the all important 5G services.

80% of mobile broadband cells are 4G but with 5G growth rates 3 times that of 4G the progression is set to change rapidly.

Mapping the 5G network by using the data from Network Cell Info community of users shows the current locations of 5G Cell Identifiers.

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Cellular networks continue to evolve.  Accordingly, we will provide quarterly updates to this report, which you can obtain by subscribing here

For a deeper dive into the data (What’s the opportunity for each operator to reduce the digital divide, Which frequencies are deployed? How do the mobile network operators compare?), we invite you to download the free Network Cell Info Detailed Report here

Need to understand local and regional network conditions for network design and optimization purposes? Talk to us about how to access the full power of Crowd SiteIntel, and gain access to attributes including location based RSRP, RSRQ, SNR, CQI, Throughput, Latency, and Jitter, among many others.  The Network Cell Info Cell ID Maps enable filtering by Band/Frequency, Range, PCI and eNodeB with coverage footprints for each Cell ID.