5G will usher in new technologies that will significantly impact the overall mobile network architecture, thus influencing the traditional positioning concepts as well. The value of location-based services for industries such as advertising and marketing, transportation, retail, will only increase as 5G and its subsequent expansion enables more mobile interaction opportunities.
As Cisco says, the appeal of 5G is that it isn’t just a new technology for service providers to upgrade their network but also it is about what it can do for their customers on their path to digitization.
For smart cities to respond instantly to data collected from countless remote sensors, AI and Machine Learning engines will need to know not only the “where,” but also “what’s around” — that is, the location context of everything around and between a point-of-interest, explains McDonald. The evolution towards these technologies will move location intelligence from the peripheral role it has played in enterprise decision-making to a core requirement. It is the combination of these next-generation technologies working in concert with location intelligence that is key to driving the improved real-world outcomes promised by IoT and smart cities.
Geospatial technology isn’t just about visualizing the network, it’s about predicting opportunities and ensuring efficient capex allocation in a demanding market. Telecom players, particularly now that networks are evolving towards the new normal, are under huge pressure from shareholders to ensure the best returns possible in new technologies, and using spatial data science in that process can be a real enabler, underlines Broderick.
In conclusion, as McDonald says, location software and data lives in the “software layer” of the telco infrastructure. Like other crucial software enablers, it is part of the “hardware virtualization” strategy that many operators are pursuing. It unlocks the value out of the hardware investment, and will set the industry on a course to bring new services, new capabilities to life.