Nokia Siemens Networks has launched a new tool which allows carriers to collect phone and mobile device data from the field.
If installed on a device, the application Mobile Quality Analyzer would use consumers' devices to capture and relay network performance data.
The application looks at the signal strength in the device and measures whether there is adequate bandwidth to access web services.
NSN pitched the application's function as "crowd-sourcing". But it warned that carriers should not activate the application without their customers' consent.
"Nokia Siemens Networks recommends that operators clearly outline to subscribers the client application's use, exactly what sort of data it collects and how their privacy is protected," it said in a statement.
It expected take-up of the application to improve if voice minutes or SMS were were exchanged for activating the application.
But Nokia believes it could be a useful tool in the churn-sensitive environment of mobile telecommunications.
"MQA for Mobile Broadband provides operators with information to plan and efficiently adjust their network capacity as well as speed up resolution of customer complaints," said Ludovic Magne, customer operations for business solutions sales at Nokia Siemens Networks.
"The mobile broadband market is growing rapidly and improved broadband service quality is fast becoming a differentiator for operators globally."