How the telecommunication industry is getting reshaped with geospatial technologies

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How the telecommunication industry is getting reshaped with geospatial technologies
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Telecommunication is a highly competitive industry. A major factor that has enabled the market leaders to gain a competitive edge is utilizing the power of location intelligence at an early stage. Location intelligence has been critical to understand vital facts about their business, including how many customers they can reach, how many towers they need to build, and how they can optimize the existing networks. By keeping the ‘where’ dimension in focus, these companies have been able to model and test the best sites to locate towers for optimum coverage, better understand the demographics of the population, and target outreach efforts.

Geospatial has played an integral role in telecom network management so far, but with 5G in the picture, the relevance of geodata in telecommunication increases exponentially.

Why Geospatial is crucial in Telecom’s sustainable development

Optimizing telecom networks is not just about rolling out new technologies like 5G. Telecom companies need to focus on analyzing and optimizing existing networks as well, and this cannot be achieved without the effective use of geospatial data. Using new location data streams, they can understand consumers at a deeper granularity. Be it long-term network planning, developing the marketing strategy, or capability building, geospatial becomes their ‘go-to’ technology as well.

With more complex 5G networks, the necessity of having accurate and detailed geospatial data will heighten. Location technology is vital for telecom network planning, risk management, and performance monitoring, and with 5G the importance will intensify.

5G is a wireless technology standard that promises to bring with it enhanced capacity and speed of data transmissions, often referred to as low latency. This is required to enable communication between millions of devices, sensors, and infrastructure. This split-second flow of densely packed data will allow intelligent systems to make more informed decisions while managing daily operations of smart communities.

5G will serve as the data transmission backbone of future technologies and cities. To make the technology a success, telecom operators have to integrate spatial data and big data into their operations. This also applies to existing networks (2G, 3G, 4G/LTE), which require upgrades over time to provide better services.

Geospatial data in all realms

Low-latency data throughput, which must be achieved by 5G to fulfill its promises of high-speed connectivity and data transmission, requires it to operate in a very broad bandwidth of the radio-frequency (RF) spectrum with a much higher frequency. Accordingly, cellular networks need to be reconfigured into much smaller, tighter cell sites. Compared to 4G networks, operators are required to install many more cell sites per square kilometer. For such precise planning, using location intelligence becomes necessary.

Next, to have undisturbed high-speed data transmission and network reliability, it is necessary to ensure that 5G signal paths do not become obstructed by objects such as buildings and trees. To prevent this, accurate and up-to-date maps that display terrain and infrastructure can help the telecom operators determine where the towers can be built to relay high-frequency signals effectively.

Managing risks and assets

Location intelligence and access to highly accurate geospatial data can help the telecom operators not only carry out effective network planning but also manage the assets after installation. Accurate identification of problem sites will help the teams to resolve the issues quickly, further increasing customer satisfaction.

Using visual mapping dashboards and automated alerts triggered from the GIS system based on geofencing or risk proximity, Network Operating Centers can get a clear overview of physical and human assets to proactively monitor the risks that threaten the network operations. Risks could be environmental such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms, as well as those related to health and safety.

Timely identification of the risks will allow the organizations to take necessary actions faster and add more satisfied customers to the database.

Improving Workforce Management

There remains little doubt that with more advanced capabilities, 5G networks and infrastructure will be more complex than the 3G and 4G networks. Accordingly, there will be an increase in the number of assets (towers, microcells) as well. The increased number of assets will require more installation and maintenance work, putting more pressure on the field service workforce.

In such high-pressure situations, geospatial technology will enable the workforce to be more efficient. Geospatial technology will help to improve and automate several aspects of the workflow management; from route planning optimization to dispatch and vehicle tracking, to monitoring real-time outage interventions.

Enhancing the customer experience

Right from the planning stage, geospatial data will significantly assist telecom operators with identifying the best markets to develop. Based on population density or population segmentation expenditure data, the operators can identify the best areas for potential 5G consumers. Demographic data can also help ascertain where the towers should be installed to maximize the number of customers served.

An important component of good customer service is the easy availability of a physical store. Strategically located stores can better serve new and existing customers. This is another area where geospatial data has played a vital role.

In today’s digital world, even before a customer arrives at a physical store, they research the carrier, network quality, and availability of the service in their geographic area through the company website. To provide this information accurately to prospective customers, telecom companies have to harness the power of location technology, be it for geocoding the customer location, validating service availability, or allowing them to select the nearest store based on preferred criteria. This practice has been adopted by the leaders in the fields and with competition enhancing, the 5G players definitely need to do the same.

Telecom companies must work towards including highly accurate coverage maps in their websites which can help the prospective customers know when 5G technology will be available near them. Easy availability of such information will help in building up the customer base. Moreover, analysis of such queries can largely enable the telecom provider to decide where to invest while building up the network to cater to a larger number of customers.

After the service is in place, geospatial data is also beneficial for resolving customer requests. It can be used to perform pre-diagnostic tests by locating potential issues, whether it’s a weak coverage close to a customer location, an ongoing outage, or a cell site that reaches maximum capacity. Such location-based analysis can greatly speed up the resolution time and improve customer satisfaction while making the telecom provider more efficient.

Where to find high-quality Geodata

Using geospatial data, telecom companies can create more robust networks and achieve goals for very high data speeds, low latency, enhanced reliability, huge network capacity, and better user experience to increase the number of users on the network.

However, an important question arises here, ‘Where to get high-quality geospatial data that meets these needs effectively?’

One answer is cloudeo.

Cloudeo is the platform that enables Telecom companies to access multiple high-quality, ready-to-use data sets from various geodata creators like satellites, airplanes, and drones under Data as a Service (DaaS) in a few clicks. Additionally, the Software as a Service (SaaS) feature allows customers to use the latest version of industry-leading software needed to process the geodata without worrying about updates, releases, etc. The platform strategically brings together Partners and customers into one standard globally-operating platform.

This cloud-based market platform hosts a wide range of value-added service providers and developers who can simplify and customize the data to user's needs. With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), users can access all cloudeo services without increasing their IT infrastructure cost. IaaS pairs natively with user-specific specifications, code, workflows, and scalable options affordably at the customer’s preferred location and time.

5G planning

The cloudeo platform stands out as the perfect choice for high-value geoinformation services that telecom companies require to meet the requirements of the 5G rollout. By bringing together data creators, data processors, and data users onto one platform, cloudeo is creating the most user-friendly geospatial solutions marketplace to meet your company’s need of accessing highly accurate geospatial data.

Explore cloudeo today and take the first step towards creating more robust networks that will power the smart cities of tomorrow.