Roam Network – Android app for data analytics of telco networks

55 million data points from 120 countries were generated in a few weeks


Established by long-time technology entrepreneurs and computer scientists, Roam Network is a Web3 company focused on telecom network services. Its multinational team operates out of Helsinki, Finland. Recently, the startup released a blockchain-based digital product that is already making waves in the telco world.

By promoting transparency, sustainable network design, and interoperability with various Web3 protocols, the company serves everyone from end users, to private network operators and nation-wide enterprise telecoms.

Tackling €900 billion challenge

The Finnish startup has set its eyes on a global problem for telecoms estimated at € 900 billion (based on Roam’s own analysis). The growing demand for high-speed, high-capacity network services is straining existing infrastructure. The result is missed opportunities for business growth. By pointing to the areas that need improvement and enabling decentralized wireless connectivity, the startup hopes to mitigate – at least partially – the mismatch of increasing demand and constrained delivery capacity.

Focusing on Roam in particular, there was another challenge. While working on its Web3 telco ecosystem at the start of 2023, the team in Helsinki was weighing the options for developing its new mobile application that was meant to fight the global problem. The discussion revolved around a cross-platform versus a native approach. The former means, for example, React Native development allowing an app with a single codebase to be published to both iOS and Android’s official marketplaces. The latter entails separate codebases for each app store (due to the different programming languages involved).

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure”

Addressing the billion-dollar global problem, Roam kept in mind the old adage: “you can’t improve what you don’t measure”. Their concept is akin to pooling peer-to-peer resources towards one goal. Using any regular smartphone’s capabilities, Roam’s application collects data on network quality and speed. In return, Roam rewards the users whose devices generate the measurements with reward points.

Once collected and processed, the data is sold to interested network operators. Generated insights help mobile network operators and, more broadly, communications service providers (CSPs) plan actions to adjust its infrastructure accordingly. For example, these measures are detecting areas with weak or degrading coverage and preventing negative effects on customer experience. The overarching goal is to enable decentralized wireless networks where the pooled resources are used more efficiently.

Our solution

After consulting with ITIDO and other partners, Roam decided to go with native development for Android devices. The main reason: native development guarantees a fast, responsive mobile client plus almost hassle-free OS compatibility with optimum battery and phone performance. All this is possible while maintaining compatibility with the largest set of device make and models. As a result, the team dropped the React Native idea that was initially considered.

Roam presented to ITIDO their vision for the software architecture and how the mobile client should fit within it. After several joint iterations on how the backend should communicate with the frontend, we established a joint agile process with weekly check-ins and ongoing remote collaboration. The ITIDO mobile engineers took on the MVP development challenge using Kotlin. Teaming up with senior UI/UX professionals, we produced a magnificent app with a modern look and feel. Following the original concept, the app collects data such as signal strength and bandwidth as well as identifiers like Network cell ID (CID), Base transceiver station (BTS), and Location area code (LAC). The mobile client also features a wallet for the reward points with a unique ID.

There is no universal truth as to whether native apps are always the right choice over hybrid apps like those created with Flutter or React Native. CTOs and managers have to consider a number of factors before jumping into development. For Roam, however, the need for precise data on network signal, bandwidth and other metrics meant that the native app is the more reasonable path to follow.

Impact achieved

The joint Roam-ITIDO team successfully launched the Android app. It was published to Google Play in February 2024 and has already generated over 55 million data points in more than 120 countries.

ITIDO has been a great partner for us in developing the Android app. They have shown the skills and flexibility needed to work with a fast-moving startup.

Michael Malka, CTO Web3 and Co-founder of Roam Network

Having installed the app on their smartphones, people can now share about how well their current network is working and how fast data is transferred. This information is ready to use right away and can also be saved for follow-up analysis. On network level, engineers might decide the infrastructure needs to be improved or minor steps will suffice (like adjusting antennas). Moreover, data can help in budgeting for these improvements, or tell experts to keep an eye on certain spots for a while longer.

Together with Roam, we are now planning the next steps in the product roadmap, including more features designed to make the user experience more engaging. After all, the success of the product depends on network effects, i.e. the app’s value would grow as more users put it on their phones to generate quality measurements. We’re confident that Roam has a future in the world of telecommunications.

Technologies used:

  • Kotlin
  • Figma
  • Google Cloud: CloudRun, BigQuery, Compute Engine