Google’s Mobile Network Insights service showed a map to the carriers displaying their signal strength in various regions of their operation and the connection speeds that they were delivering in those regions.
- Google has shut down its Mobile Network Insights service.
- Google has launched its Mobile Network Insights service in 2017.
- Google shut down the service due to changing product priorities.
Google is ending a service that allowed wireless carriers around the world that gave critical information including their network coverage and their signal strength. The move by the Mountain View, California based tech company comes at a time when regulators around the globe have increased their scrutiny of tech companies over their data sharing and privacy practices.
According to a report by Reuters, Google has shut down its Mobile Network Insights service that was launched by the company back in March 2017. The service showed a map to the carriers displaying their signal strength in various regions and the connection speeds that they were delivering in those regions. It used aggregated data from Android smartphone users who had opted into sharing location history and usage and diagnostics with Google. This means that the data the carriers received from the users couldn’t be linked with any individual Android smartphone user. The carriers only received data regarding their own services and that of their competitors, which in turn could not be identified by name.
The service was free and it allowed the carriers to make operational decisions such as where to upgrade their wireless network among other things.
People close to the matter told the publication that Google shut down its Mobile Network Insights service as it was facing challenges in maintaining the data quality and the “connectivity upgrades among carriers being slow to materialise”.
While Google confirmed the move of shutting down its service, it didn’t any specific reasons behind its move. Google spokeswoman Victoria Keough in a statement to the news agency said the move was a part of the company’s changing “product priorities”.
It is worth noting that Google has decided to shut down its service at a time when it is facing its first GDPR probe by the Irish regulators over how the company uses users’ personal data for advertising. The company is also likely to be named in a broader investigation by the US Department of Justice into the anti-competitive behaviour of big tech companies which is likely to include Facebook, Amazon and Apple among others.