Cell phone coverage maps are rarely accurate, according to a Lifehacker user poll. Of the 2,592 users who responded to the poll, only 15 percent said that the coverage map offered by their provider accurately represented the service they received.
Third party coverage maps such as Open Signal and Sensorly seek to provide realistic coverage maps by allowing users to contribute their own signal data to the coverage maps. Users can install mobile apps on their phones that monitor signal strength and location data and upload it to the service's servers. These apps allow users to compare the coverage of different services, as well as average connection speeds.