Frequently Asked Questions
How does AirSage gather locations?
A: Mobile devices are always connecting to the nearest cell tower(s) when they are in use – and even when they aren’t. It’s why you’re able to place a call so quickly when you dial out on your mobile phone.
Each time a device makes contact with a cell tower, AirSage captures that location. These locations are stripped of personally identifiable information and bundled together into a compressed CSV file format from which we report our findings.
Which geographies does AirSage cover?
A: Currently, data can be provided for the majority of the U.S. and Puerto Rico, with some exceptions for very rural or remote areas where there is little or no coverage. The data can cross county, city, and state boundaries, be provided for a custom or standard boundary, or be provided for the entire country. A map of our coverage areas can be found here.
What types of devices create locations for AirSage?
A: AirSage captures signaling data from any device connected to one of our two top-tier carriers. A device does not have to be GPS enabled (although we capture that data as well) – it can be a smart phone, not-so-smart phone, tablet, PDA, etc. And AirSage captures a location for each incoming or outgoing voice call, text message and 1x data session. Recent surveys show that 91% of the adult population owns a cell phone – so you can rest assured that data isn’t demographically biased.
How does AirSage know if a device is being used by a visitor or resident?
A: We are able to determine a device’s “Home Location” and “Work Location” when a mobile device shows a pattern at the same location for a significant number of days each month. For instance, if a device is present at one location for more than 10 days out of 28, between the hours of 9pm-7am, we can infer its “home location.” Granted, our algorithms are slightly more complex, but that’s the simplified version. Because we know the home and work locations of a device, we know when it’s visiting an area vs. simply moving around their hometown.
Does AirSage capture mobile signals from idle devices or just when a device makes a call, texts, or surfs the web?
A: An idle device is often still in communication with its network, especially when moving so it always knows where the nearest cell tower(s) are. This is why a caller is able to connect with the network almost immediately when a call is placed. AirSage captures every one of those network check-in points, and that can include when a device is idle.
How often does AirSage receive data from mobile devices?
A: AirSage receives signaling data continuously (365 days a year, 24/7) in real-time from our wireless carriers. This typically results in 50-250 sightings per day, per device. There are lots of technical reasons why we might see a device more or less over 24 hours but on average it’s about 100 times per day. With a sample size of 100+ million devices, AirSage sees over 15 billion locations every day.
How does AirSage protect the identity of mobile devices?
A: Before any data ever leaves the mobile carrier, all records are encrypted and anonymized so that the specific individual associated with a device is never revealed. AirSage works with carriers, partners, and neutral third-party auditors to strip out any Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) removing all personally identifiable information from the data. The result: the data is anonymous.
Can AirSage determine the mode of travel for a device (walking, biking, driving or riding mass transit)?
A: In general no, we aren’t able to distinguish between modes of travel due to speed variances (for instance, someone walking on a sidewalk next to a car in traffic moving at the same speed). However, there can be exceptions with trails, train routes, biking paths, etc. that aren’t located directly near other transportation systems or have a distinct movement pattern that can be differentiated from other travelers.
How is AirSage data priced and packaged?
A: The cost of a study is determined by several factors including the population in an area, the amount of time the data covers, the size and division of the coverage area(s), and other additional refinements required for further analysis and precision. Additional information on pricing can be found here.
AirSage collects, stores, and analyzes data in real-time and data is typically delivered in a compressed CSV file format. Near real-time data is also available depending on the scope of the project. Occasionally presentation ready visuals and slides are also requested.
If you have additional questions or need to discuss options, please email Sales@AirSage.com or call us at 404-809-2499.
How much historical data is available?
A: AirSage can provide data back to January 2009 for year-over-year or seasonal comparisons.
How accurate are the locations AirSage provides?
A: Typically we can get within 300 meters and commonly (like in urban areas) we can get within 100 meters.
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