Updated: Jun 16, 2020
In large capital investment projects, financiers and businesses always want to reduce risks and gain certainty in their investment decisions to ensure that the large sums of money invested in infrastructure generates a positive return on investment.
One of the key strategies for governments across the world is to build smart cities connected by intelligent infrastructure. A key enabler of this strategy is advanced telecommunications equipment and infrastructure that will strengthen digital communications between economic hubs.
Authentic Evidence designed and developed an interactive analytics solution for multiple stakeholders in the British transport and telecommunications network to help them analyse the quality and strength of mobile telecoms signals in specific geographical locations across the UK. This solution helped them understand where to prioritise investments in new telecoms infrastructure to maximise wireless coverage between major cities and towns.
Our team analysed over 41 million records of telecoms performance data from a variety of sources, including first-party data from the client, third-party data from a specialist telecoms consultancy, and open-source data from the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is the official regulator for communications services in the UK. By combining data from a variety of sources, our team were able to build a trustworthy solution that relied on a combination of evidence to accurately assess the performance of all mobile telecoms service providers in specific geographical locations across the UK, taking into consideration the telecoms infrastructure and landscape topology that could interfere with telecoms signals.
A high-level summary of our results are provided below:
35% of the UK transport network has excellent to good 4G, 3G and 2G mobile telecoms coverage;
18% of the UK transport network has fair to acceptable 4G, 3G and 2G mobile telecoms coverage;
10% of the UK transport network has poor, bad, or no mobile telecoms coverage due to tunnels, cutting slopes, embankments, dense vegetation, and the density of buildings in large city developments.
To put our analysis into context, every train passenger can relate to being on a mobile phone call and their signals dropping off throughout their train journey. Our analytics solution allowed our client to identify why mobile telecoms signals consistently dropped off in specific geographical locations. On most occasions the signal would drop off due to tunnels, or hills that block telecoms signals being delivered to passengers from the closest telecoms tower. On other occasions the signal would drop off because the closest telecoms tower could not deliver a signal into a valley or a densely populated city where urban infrastructure interferes with the signal from the telecoms tower.
By knowing what causes the interference in telecoms signals across the national transport network, our client could make an informed decision about the different types of telecoms equipment that must be installed in specific locations to improve telecoms connectivity in our national transport network.
In less than 6 weeks, our team delivered a cost effective solution that mapped telecoms signals across more than 152,771 square kilometres, covering 63% of the national transport network. By using data analytics and open-source technologies, we provided a efficient and cost effective alternative to traditional methods of analysing and mapping mobile telecoms signals across the British transport network, which typically involves sending specialist trains and cars with receivers mounted on their roofs to collect data on the telecoms signals received from MNOs. Given our independence from any of the telecoms companies, our solution provided an objective assessment of performance for all of the licensed MNOs in the UK in 41 million locations across the country to help our client engage them in delivering better telecoms services.
If you would like to find out more about this project, or would like a demonstration of some of the advanced analytical tools that we build with open-source technologies, please get in touch with our Technical Director, Brian Greig.
+44 (0)203 920 9378