The pandemic has had a seismic impact on the telecom sector. This is perhaps most notably because where and how the world goes to work has been re-defined, with nearly every business deepening its commitment to mobility. Our homes suddenly became our offices, and workforces went from being centrally managed to widely distributed. This has called for a heightened need for widespread, secure and high-speed connectivity around the clock.
5G has answered the call, and 5G location intelligence and big data can provide service providers with the information they need to optimize their investments.
Case in point: Juniper Research reported in its 5G Monetization study that global revenue from 5G services will reach $73 billion by the end of 2021, rising from just $20 billion last year.
5G flexes as connected devices surge
Market insights firm IoT Analytics estimates there will be more than 30 billion IoT connections by 2025. That's an average of nearly four IoT devices per person. To help meet the pressure this growth in connectivity is putting on telecom providers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking action to make additional spectrum available for 5G services and promoting the digital opportunities it provides to Americans. The FCC is urging that investments in 5G infrastructure be prioritized given the "widespread mobility opportunity" it presents, as stated by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
While that's a good thing, we must also acknowledge that launching a 5G network presents high financial risk, among other challenges. The competitive pressures are significant, and network performance matters greatly when it comes to new business acquisition and retention. It's imperative to make wise decisions on network build-out to ensure investments yield the anticipated returns.
Thus, telcos need not – and should not – go it blindly when considering where to invest. You don't know what you don't know, which is why 5G location intelligence and big data can provide an incredible amount of clarity (and peace of mind) when it comes to optimizing investments, increasing marketing effectiveness and improving customer satisfaction.
Removing the blindfold
Location data and analytics provide telcos and Communications Service Providers (CSPs) with highly-specific insights to make informed decisions on where to invest in 5G. With this information, companies can not only map strategic expansion, but also better manage assets, operations, customers and products.
For example, with this intelligence, carriers can gain insight into the most desired locations of specific populations and how they want to use bandwidth. They can use this data to arm themselves with a clear understanding of customer location and mobility, mapping existing infrastructure and competitive coverage against market requirements to pinpoint new opportunities. By creating complex customer profiles rich with demographic information like age, income and lifestyle preferences, the guesswork is eliminated for where the telco should or shouldn’t deploy new 5G towers.
Further, by mapping a population of consumers and businesses within a specific region and then aggregating that information by age, income or business type, for example, a vivid picture comes to life of the market opportunity for that area.
This type of granular location intelligence adds important context to existing data and is a key pillar to data integrity, which describes the overall quality and completeness of a dataset. When telcos can clearly understand factors such as boundaries, movement and the customers’ surroundings, predictive insights can be made regarding demographic changes and future telecom requirements within a certain location. This then serves as the basis for a data-backed 5G expansion strategy. Without it, businesses are burdened by the trial-and-error losses that are all too common with 5G build-outs.
Location precision's myriad benefits
Improved location precision has many benefits for telcos looking to pinpoint where to build, market and provision 5G. Among them are:
- Better data: Broadening insights on commercial, residential and mixed-use locations through easy-to-consume, scalable datasets provide highly accurate in-depth analyses for marketing and meeting customer demand.
- Better serviceability insights: Complete and accurate location insights allow for a comprehensive view of serviceable addresses where products and services can be delivered to current and new customers causing ROI to improve and customers to be adequately served.
- Better subscriber returns: Companies that deploy fixed wireless services often experience plan cancellations due to inconsistencies of signal performance, which typically result from the misalignment of sites with network assets. Location-based data provides operators with the ability to adapt their networks for signal consistency and serviceability as sites and structures change.
The 5G future
The role of location intelligence in accelerating development of new broadband services and driving ROI in a 5G world cannot be overstated. It adds a critical element of data integrity that informs network optimization, customer targeting and service provisioning so telecom service providers can ensure their investments are not made with blind hope.
As bandwidth availability today is strained by the impacts of streaming services and an interconnected world, providers can deliver on the promise of a more efficient and reliable network by planning for and deploying 5G services based on location intelligence and big data.
— Robert Cruz, Vice President, Precisely
Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash.