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Using aerial maps to build a customer-focused 5G network

Oct 2022

Location intelligence helps identify the most effective transmission sites for 5G service providers to maintain a competitive advantage in network planning.

Oct 2022

For telecommunications operators, effectively meeting fast-growing 5G demands all starts with identifying the most effective transmission sites. The ability to accurately and quickly visualise prime installation sites gives service providers a competitive advantage in network planning. To ensure compliance while keeping the community and stakeholders informed and safe, location intelligence is key.
5G network growth strategies present challenges to:
  • Efficiently plan, design and implement infrastructure rollout
  • Facilitate an increase in data service from megabits (Mbps) to gigabits (Gbps)
  • Implement a robust asset maintenance program
  • Rapidly restore service following natural disasters or construction disruptions
High-resolution imagery that delivers a Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) accuracy of 5.5cm—7.5cm per pixel, along with 3D reality models, allow planners to determine site viability in multiple locations without the need for physical visits. This saves time and money, fast-tracking the preselection of deployment sites remotely.
Can you quickly and easily discern between structures, trees, foliage and other line-of-sight barriers? The ability to do this at scale optimises 5G network development and expansion, delivers a significant advantage in project planning and business outcomes, and helps meet and exceed project completion deadlines.

90% coverage footprint continues to grow

With Nearmap aerial imagery already covering 90% of the Australian population across cities and regions, with a growing footprint, telco operators can gain a clear advantage. Teams can plan new 5G networks and expand existing networks by working with reliable, high-resolution imagery, geospatial intelligence, APIs and integrations that enable in-depth, accurate analysis and planning.

Accurately plan 100x more coverage to connect shorter mmWaves

With access to a range of high-resolution imagery — 2D vertical, panorama, oblique, and 3D textured mesh, plus point cloud, Digital Surface Model (DSM), Digital Terrain Model (DTM), true ortho, and AI datasets — teams can accurately plan the deployment of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) networks. While traditional radio frequency (RF) propagation tools were built for 3G and 4G spectrums that travel like sound waves through buildings and trees, 5G is deployed on millimetre wave (mmWave) bands that travel like light waves, covering short distances (up to 300m) and unable to penetrate solid items such as buildings and foliage.
Because the short-range, high-frequency, high-capacity 5G spectrum band requires many more transmission sites, these need to be planned with greater precision and with clear line-of-sight (LOS) between each. Any visual obstructions will cause service interruptions to end users — even the smallest shed or tree can adversely affect coverage. Visibility at every step of the project is key. APIs and integrations allow Nearmap content, such as DSM and DTM to be easily integrated into other platforms and systems — such as Esri ArcGIS — for clear LOS planning. Preselecting viable sites remotely using aerial imagery saves time and money, reducing the physical impact — and carbon footprint — of visiting areas one by one.
3D Line of Sight using Nearmap 3D in ArcGIS Earth
Maintain compliance, keep communities informed
Equipped with the imagery and geospatial data to make smarter planning decisions, operators can proactively manage network installation, instead of reacting to customer concerns about planned structural changes to their sites. The ability to gain a different perspective, through oblique and panoramic high-resolution imagery, provides the ability to view telco assets — towers and equipment — from multiple angles in addition to top-down, vertical view. AI layers can provide deeper insights into locations, identifying multiple attributes, such as poles, building footprints, and vegetation growth, far quicker and more efficiently than would ever be possible with the human eye.
The ability to precisely identify CPE locations optimises load sharing between sites. Information relevant to each site can be easily shared with other parties, such as external subcontractors, to ensure consistent communication of relevant project information, based on current visual data. Working with this level of visibility also enables precise planning and modelling of electromagnetic emissions for compliance with statutory requirements. Environmental aspects can also be identified and addressed through clear aerial imagery. Greater transparency with the community and quicker project completion times deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Streamline service restoration
Frequently updated high-resolution aerial imagery provides telco teams and subcontractors with key information to monitor, plan and maintain assets. With network solutions designed for the future, faster response to events such as natural disasters helps network recovery, maintaining customer trust and building loyalty. When service is interrupted or networks fail, clear location intelligence helps understand the context and provides response teams with more accurate site information, saving time and optimising staff resources. In the event of natural disasters, the ability to quickly gain high-resolution post-catastrophe aerial imagery to assess damage and identify assets needing repair or replacement means that networks can be re-established quickly, leading to better customer experience.
Nearmap ImpactResponse capture April 2021, following Cyclone Seroja in Kalbarri WA
As telecommunication bandwidth demands skyrocket and network density increases at a magnitude greater than ever before seen, Nearmap provides the data, insights and intelligence to help carriers save money and time while providing better service to end users.
Find out more about how you can leverage aerial imagery to build Australia’s leading network and provide exceptional customer experience.