Top 3 Reasons the Telecom Sector is Turning to GIS


What is GIS?

GIS or Geographical Information Systems are a set of tools used to interpret geographical or geospatial data and information. The system digitizes the received geospatial data and processes, stores, interprets, analyzes, and manipulates it to provide the required output.


The Global GIS Market in the Telecommunication Industry is one of the fastest-growing GIS markets worldwide, with a CAGR of 10.89 percent from 2013-2018. This growth in due, in large part, to a huge need for stakeholders to understand the network structure on a near real-time basis, for better capacity planning.

TechNavio analysts have compiled the top 3 reasons for uptake of GIS in the telecom sector.  

1) Need for Real-time Knowledge of Network Structure

Network monitoring, testing of network elements, maintenance, and customer service are the major activities focused on by every company in the telecommunication industry since these activities ensure the effective functioning of the telecom network.

GIS solutions enhance the efficiency of network monitoring activities as they provide real-time knowledge of the network structure. The use of GIS solutions shared with the database of a network company enables instant access to various information such as customer status and history, the existing network structure, signal quality in a specific demography, and any need for maintenance or repair services.

The status of network elements can be viewed on GIS maps, thus enabling fast and reliable maintenance services.

2) Use of GIS in Market Segmentation

GIS Can be Used for Forecasting, Determining Market Demand and Other Marketing Actrivities

GIS helps identify relations between a customer’s geographical presence and the organization’s marketing campaigns. Organizations can use GIS technology to improve their customer targeting and segmentation because it helps them easily identify the reach of their marketing activities in a particular targeting segment. GIS provides geographical customer details on the basis of customer culture, lifestyle, demography, buying behavior, and other details.

In addition, several companies in the Telecommunication industry use GIS solutions to segment the characteristics of customers. This enables them to anticipate demand for services in a specific geography and thus develop budgets for promotional activities and marketing campaigns accordingly.


Segmentation of Global GIS Software Market in the Telecom Industry by Product Type (2013)

3) Increased Use of GIS in Capacity Planning

As the use of mobile devices and computers has become a basic necessity worldwide, many network companies re having to expand in order to offer their services in rural areas. So in order to devise effective network capacity planning, several companies in the Telecommunication industry are adopting GIS solutions to devise a logical communication network structure based on future communication demand. Basically, GIS is widely used in making effective decisions using the existing network structure and network performance status.

But for every factor pushing the telecom industry towards adoption of GIS, there’s a significant challenge hampering the full-scale deployment of the technology:

Open-source Software

Commercial GIS software vendors face a major threat from open-source software vendors because open-source software provides several similar features and functionalities to commercial GIS software, while providing a more economical option. It’s also way more customizable, as open-source software enables end-users to study and understand the software codes, and thus end-users can modify the codes to meet their needs.

Government Regulations and Guidelines

Citing national security and individual privacy issues, governments worldwide have formulated policies to regulate the kind of information gathered through GIS. Many governments have passed stringent regulations and restrictions to regulate the kind of information provided by customers used for marketing activities and other end-uses of GIS software. Therefore, all public and private organizations have to ensure full compliance with all rules and regulations imposed by governments, which affects standardization of GIS products in the global market.

Lack of Adoption of Cloud-based Applications

The adoption of cloud-based GIS applications is limited in the telecommunication industry because most end-users prefer desktop-based solutions. This is exacerbated by the fact that several end-users lack awareness about the benefits of using cloud-based GIS applications. In addition, GIS vendors find it difficult to deploy cloud-based software because of the lack of standardization and technical support for these products. 

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