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    Using an app to help find Würzburg's best mobile network


    Watching stuttering YouTube videos on their smartphones, users frequently wonder whether they are using the "right" provider. With the help of an app, computer scientists now want to establish the main causes of poor streaming quality and find out which network works best – and every Android user can help.

    A map shows, how other users rated a streaming.
    [Translate to Englisch:] Die Karte zeigt, wie das Netz in den unterschiedlichen Regionen bewertet wurde.

    If you want to watch YouTube videos while on the go, the data connection should enable efficient streaming. Choppy videos or poor image quality can spoil the smartphone experience.

    Collecting data to improve the communication networks

    "Such impairments cannot be fully prevented so far, especially while you are on the go," says computer scientist Michael Seufert from the Chair of Communication Networks at the University of Würzburg. Watching YouTube videos is difficult or sometimes even impossible particularly while driving in a car or bus according to Seufert.

    At the Chair of Professor Phuoc Tran-Gia, Seufert, Florian Wamser and colleagues are trying to determine the main causes of poor streaming in mobile networks, looking for ways to improve video streaming on smartphones. To do so, they need plenty of data and various scenarios. The scientists hope to get these from "real" smartphone users.

    Map shows where the network is best

    Therefore, the scientists developed an app to suit their purposes. It allows all users to test how suitable the respective mobile networks are for streaming videos. The "YoMoApp" (YouTube Monitoring App) enables users to watch YouTube videos as usual and rate the streaming quality immediately afterwards.

    Moreover, a look on the incorporated map immediately shows the quality of one's own network and of other networks at various locations in the city. This makes the app an easy way to compare different providers and it highlights where the mobile network works properly and where it needs improvement.

    Information event on 31 May, download immediately available

    The project aims to create a detailed overview of the quality of mobile networks in Würzburg. The researchers are counting on broad support from Würzburg users for their project. The more people use the app to rate the streaming quality, the more accurate the results will be.

    The computer scientists were available to answer questions about video streaming and the app in the multi-purpose room of the Hubland cafeteria on 31 May from 11 am to 2 pm.

    As a small incentive to try out the app, all users who presented their mobile phones with the YoMoApp and three ratings were rewarded with a bar of chocolate. So far, only devices running the Android operating systems are supported.

    Link to the homepage including a link to download the app in the Google Playstore: http://www.yomoapp.de


    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Phuoc Tran-Gia, phone:  +49 931 31-86630, E-mail: trangia@informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de
    Dr. Florian Wamser, phone:  +49 931 31-88607, E-mail: wamser@informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de
    Dipl.-Inform. Michael Seufert, phone: +49 931 31-88475, E-mail: seufert@informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de

    Additional images

    By Marco Bosch