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Geolocation Data – Crucial for Telecommunication Providers’ Expansion and Security

April 18, 2024 3 mins

Telecommunication providers will heavily depend on geolocation data to expand their networks, reach underserved areas and combat cyberattacks. This insight comes from the LightBox research survey conducted in collaboration with Heavy Reading, which focused on North America communication service providers. The survey aimed to uncover the priorities of investing in location data and how emerging technologies, such as AI, will affect its value proposition.

Use Cases to Support Location Data Investment

Four top use cases emerged to support the investment strategy in location data for the providers we surveyed. Notably, 48% of the providers surveyed currently leverage location data to inform their investment decisions in expanding networks within mature markets, while location data guides infrastructure investments decisions for underserved markets (43%) and new market expansion (40%). Additionally, providers are committed to using location data for security investment upgrades, including forecasts (38%). Furthermore, 30% or more of the providers surveyed are now finalizing their execution strategies to leverage location data for these same business cases, meaning that approximately 70% of providers either already utilize location data for business cases or have plans to implement soon.

The Case for Cybersecurity

The real-time nature of location data emerges as a formidable tool in combating cyber threats. By correlating network traffic patterns with geographic locations, providers can detect suspicious activities and potential intrusions more effectively. In fact, a whopping 72% of providers surveyed believe that real-time geolocation data will enhance their ability to detect cyberattacks in their network and 63% believe the data will identify cyberattacks in their customer enterprise networks.

The Jury is Still Out on 5G Monetization

As the telecommunications industry gears up for the 5G revolution, the demand for real-time location data is poised to surge. The key question at hand is the extent of the impact that 5G will have on the monetization of location services. Despite ongoing discussions, there remains no clear consensus yet among the providers we surveyed regarding how the rollouts will drive demand for real-time location data. While 46% anticipate a significant impact on monetization, 47% foresee there will be some impact but the precise drivers behind these projections remain uncertain. Additionally, 8% of respondents believe there will be no impact at all. Nevertheless, as 5G networks continue to unfold, the potential for leveraging real-time location data for innovation services and revenue streams is undoubtedly substantial.

Adoption of AI

Amidst the growth of AI, the providers surveyed are adopting multiple strategies. More than half of these service providers are still performing functions such as customer service support and network growth forecasts (both 51%) in-house. However, for other functions, they are adopting a hybrid model of blending in-house capabilities with third-party partnerships. This model is particularly evident in functions like network engineering (49%) and site selection (47%).

As expected, only a small number of service providers (29%) already utilize AI with location data. The single largest group (50%) is committed and plans to utilize AI, while 18% of respondents are still considering plans.

While the current adoption of AI with location data remains modest, there is a significant intent among providers to embrace this synergy. With 50% of the respondents committed to utilizing AI (with 18% considering plans), the trajectory toward AI-driven location data analytics seems inevitable.

Charting the Course

In the telecommunications industry, location data has emerged as a beacon of opportunity. Its strategic deployment not only empowers providers to navigate existing challenges but also positions them to capitalize on emerging markets and technologies.

Download the full whitepaper here for detailed insights including understanding if AI will have a positive or negative impact on the departments and performance of provider systems as well as the demographics of the surveyed respondents.

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