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08.03.2020 | Earth Intelligence

3D Maps Calling: Why New Geodata is Powering 5G Deployments

By: Assaad Al Skaff, Maxar Technologies

Read Time: 3 minutes

Did you know two of the three tier-1 U.S. mobile operators already use Vricon data for their nationwide 5G deployments? What’s changed?

You hear a lot about 5G these days. The goal is to provide high capacity and fast, reliable connections over very wide areas, and this will require a mix of frequencies. One band might be appropriate for rural areas, but other, higher-range bands, like millimeter wave, are best for dense parts of cities, as they bring much higher speeds but less coverage span.

Several countries—like Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and those in the UK—have already auctioned mid-band frequencies (3.4-3.8 GHz), with some operators investing a high price to acquire these frequencies. The USA is considering the Citizens Broadband Radio Service as an alternative for its mid-band. In the meantime, some U.S. operators have already begun 5G deployment on 2.5 GHz, and others are using mmWave (23-26 GHz). Fixed wireless access will use 5G technology, like beamforming and mmWave, to markedly boost wireless broadband services.

New and multiple frequencies complicate things, and so do new radio techniques that come with them. Not to mention new business cases like enhanced mobile broadband, FWA, connected vehicles, massive IoT …

Radio planners have much to consider. Managers have to carefully control and secure their 5G network investments.

Radio planning for previous technologies, like 2G, 3G, and 4G, was “simple” and did not require a lot of details, so low resolution 2D maps were sufficient. For 5G and FWA, service providers can’t plan in the same ways they used to, nor with the same lower-resolution 2D or sometimes 2.5D maps that they already have. Successful planning and deployment will rely on details in large-scale areas—including buildings and vegetation, urban and rural—in full 3D.

5G and FWA require something new and different. It’s about solving the equation of the multiple-frequencies mix, new radio propagation techniques, and complex current and future business cases.

To solve this complex equation, Vricon uses sophisticated algorithms with big data and AI techniques, with automation, to generate very-high-resolution 3D and 4D maps at large scale. This means that our solutions are not only technologically advanced (we’ll even go so far as to call them “future-proof”) but also cost-effective.

In other words, our geodata can help large—or small—telco companies plan a large-scale network, while keeping costs down. Vricon’s Telco Suite has been engineered from Day 1 to address core challenges:

  • Precision is key in the design of new radio networks and services. We have unrivaled position accuracy for next generation telecommunications and military use.
  • Critical business applications need the right scale and accuracy. All Vricon maps are natively produced in 3D at 50cm resolution at country scale.
  • The right geodata can minimize your 5G services’ time to market by targeting specific areas of interest based on terrain visibility. Scalable 3D maps help you launch swiftly.
  • Control cost through 3D visibility at unbeatable market prices. 3D visibility allows operators to deploy 5G sites where it brings the most benefits in terms of coverage and traffic.

We recently presented our telco webinar—3D maps calling: The key to a successful deployment of NextGen 5G & FWA radio networks—in which we discussed new challenges that come with new technologies. Watch the recording and let us know what you think. Better yet, request a demo.

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