#BetterMobile Hack

One day to ideate improvements for #bettermobile connectivity in Cambridge.

As part of the #CambsNotspotter initiative Cambridge Ahead has been collecting millions of data points from smartphone users, mapping both areas of good connectivity and poor, and we’re using this data to make a difference with a mobile connectivity hackathon.

We all benefit from a good mobile phone signal, whether it’s to work on the move, browse social media or simply make a call.

Cambridge, like most places, has areas of bad or non-existent coverage (notspots), where you walk around in hope of getting even just one bar of signal and don’t stand a chance of being able to use data.

But Cambridge is trying to do something about it – and needs your help! Do you want to be part of the solution? Have you got the next great idea that might just work? Join us for #BetterMobile Hack on Saturday November 18th – a day when community collaboration will drive innovation.

Those who work, live or study in Cambridge have the opportunity to improve something they come into contact with every day. If a concept works here, it could work elsewhere and an idea created at #BetterMobile Hack could be the start of the next generation of mobile coverage and use.

  • Do you ever find yourself without mobile signal?
  • Do you want something to be done about it?
  • Can you imagine a future with better connectivity?

Then come and join us for #BetterMobile Hack.

There’ll be prizes too! #BetterMobile Hack is a team competition so there will be a grand prize for the winners, as well as prize draws for everyone. All you need is an open mind, ‘techie’ or not. What we’re looking for is innovation.

What’s our aim?

To uncover a game-changing idea that could take us into the next generation of mobile connectivity and to show Cambridge as the innovative and connected city that it is.

We look forward to seeing you and hearing your ideas! If you have any questions, please contact the Cambridge Ahead Digital connectivity chair, and organiser of the event Faye Holland at faye.holland@cofinitive.com



We encourage residents and interested parties to start to look at the data in advance of the hackathon. Below you will find links to materials as listed

  • An overview document about the Hack – click here
  • An overview of the subsets of the data – click here
  • The specific data sets:
    • Fulbourn village, which we know has poor coverage – click here
    • Bar Hill, an area similar in size to Fulbourn but with relatively good coverage – click here
    • A larger area in South Cambridgeshire encompassing Babraham, Great Shelford and Sawston – click here
    • Cambridge city centre, an urban area with variable coverage – click here
    • Part of the Cambridge-Kings Cross railway line with good coverage – click here for north and click here for south
  • The full data set – click here

Getting involved

Participants can come as a team of 4-8 or we will assign you to teams on the day.
At the end of the day each team will present their findings and one team will be named winner as judged by a panel of independent experts.


We are committed to doing everything we can to have meaningful outcomes of the hack. After the event we’ll share a document with all suggestions. We will also share the projects we pursue as a result of the hack and invite others to participate as required.

Mentors and Judges of #CambsNotspotterHack

A hackathon is nothing without its mentors and judges. We’re delighted to have an excellent line-up of individuals at #BetterMobile Hack.

Bob Driver,
CEO, Cambridge Wireless


Dr Zoraida Frias,
Assistant Professor, University of Cambridge


Emma Fletcher,
MD, SmithsonHill


Steve Unger,
Group Director and Board Member, Ofcom


Laura Trevail,
Project Liason Officer, Iotic Labs


Sam Massey,
Senior Analyst, Cambridge Consultants


Tim Winchcomb,
Technology Strategy Consultant, Cambridge Consultants


Dr Edward Oughton,
Research Associate, Cambridge Judge Business School


Sponsored by



Cambridge Ahead          Cambridge Consultants        SmithsonHill

Supported by

OpenSignal with transmitter logo




Cambridge Hack           Cofinitive          OpenSignal




Cambridge Consultants              Cambridge Wireless            Smart Cambridge