A new Internet site will debut today that gives consumers detailed information about the service coverage and call quality offered by wireless phone carriers in major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles.
The site, http://www.decide.com, is the first to provide elaborate maps that outline spots where call quality or service coverage lag for various wireless companies.
San Jose-based Decide.com collects the mapping data by driving streets and freeways and placing calls repeatedly, and then rating the connection and voice quality (good, poor, dropped or no signal). Visitors to the site can hear the test calls if they have computer speakers and the right software.
In Los Angeles, for example, drivers spent several weeks covering about 9,000 miles and placing about 30,000 mobile phone calls (one every 90 to 100 seconds), according to Roy Prasad, chief executive of Decide.com.
Decide.com's Web site also includes information about long-distance and prepaid phone services, as well as ways to compare plan prices and phones. The company is independent from any phone carrier, but it will receive commissions on services sold via the site.