The value of GIS in the telecom enterprise

Telecommunications is one of the fastest-growing GIS markets in the world.  So fast, in fact, it has a forecasted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.0% from 2021-2026. A large part of this growth is due to the need for stakeholders to understand the network structure on a near real-time basis.

On a recent episode of Fiberside Chat with 3-GIS, host Tyler Kern speaks with Michael Measels, VP of Product Management at 3-GIS, and Randall Rene, Industry Solutions Specialist at Esri. The trio analyze the value of GIS in the telecom enterprise and its role in giving regulators the information they need to build and run cheaper infrastructure.

Randall explains that a comprehensive GIS forms the foundation of all business operations. From real-time KPI reports to what churn may look like in a region, GIS offers a unified and holistic view of the network, while streamlining business operations, improving enterprise-wide communications, and helping businesses make better-informed business decisions.

When asked about using GIS to increase speed to the market, Michael highlights that typically, in GIS, the concept has been used in reference to planning, design, and construction phases. In this instance, he suggests that the concept is looked at from a more strategic and financial angle where the focus is on what investors may or may not be looking for. He outlines 3 key points that should be considered when speed to the market is described from a CFO standpoint, reducing churn, reducing costs of the network buildout, and ultimately providing more opportunity for future investment. 

Leveraging GIS to analyze, model, and predict the capacity of a network today and in the future is crucial in telecom. Service providers rely on the capacity of their network to serve customers today, which is predicated on existing network capacity. Not only is it important to know where service is and is not available, but it is of equal importance to be able to share that data in real-time across the organization, so that better informed future investment decisions are made. There are multiple advantages that come with the uninterrupted share of real-time information; namely, identifying new customers, managing existing network, and understanding market penetration and the competition.

A unified database approach is essential in preventing and solving GIS challenges, particularly as local, state, and international boundaries are crossed. According to Michael, having a single system of record is particularly critical when working globally and reporting revenue and taxes. As well as reporting challenges, localization is another practical struggle when international boundaries are crossed. For instance, operations can get complicated with empirical and metric measurements so having that unified system that automatically displays the information that is localized to a particular user is a way of overcoming these challenges.

This latest episode of Fiberside Chat offers a thorough analysis of how GIS lends itself to facilitating the planning and construction of networks as the need to expand the footprint of the network continues.

Check out the latest episode of the Fiberside Chat with 3-GIS podcast to join the discussion on outside plant management.  Listen online here or download the episode from iTunes or Spotify.

1According to Technavio blog, GIS in telecommunications had a compound annual growth rate of 10.89% from 2016 to 2020. Real-time information for strategic planning is cited as the primary driver of increased demand.

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