In our modern world of gadgets and fancy technology some things still have to be done the old fashioned way. For example, if you're a major wireless carrier and you want to test your network, it turns out you can't do it from a computer in the comfort of an air-conditioned office. Apparently the "Can You Hear Me Now?" guy is a little closer to the truth than you might think.
In fact, it turns out that Verizon has a whole team of people whose job is to drive around the country and see how well their network works. Now, it's a little more sophisticated than "Can you hear me now?" They drive around in cars full of sophisticated testing equipment, but the principle is the same. In 2011 Verizon's testers racked up over 1 million miles of driving, 3 million voice call attempts, and 12 million data tests.
Of course, every industry requires knowing what the competition is up to, so Verizon's testers actually spent a lot of their time testing competitors' networks too. The data collected allows Verizon to shore up its network's weak points and plan expansion, as well as stay aware of the strengths and weaknesses of competitors' networks.