“Moving from Coverage Predictions…to Coverage Facts.”
A tip from our partner Metricell
For years operators have relied on coverage predictions for an incredible range of use cases across their business. They’re utilised extensively by optimisation teams, supplied to regulators, and are even presented to the public via online coverage checkers, a trend proven to confuse customers who arrive on them searching for answers about live network experience. In all of these instances, wherever these predictions fail to line up with the reality they’re being applied to, there’s a problem not too far away. So how do we go about making coverage more representative and less predictive?
But… What is coverage prediction?
In essence, a coverage prediction is a model which factors in antenna height, clutter, terrain and more to determine the likely spread of coverage over a section of an operator’s territory. While it’s an excellent exercise in mathematical modelling, it fails to incorporate the more subjective and real-world experience of an actual person essentially saying: “Yes, I have 4G in this area.” On its own, this could be considered a coverage opinion. However, with the device reporting 4G connectivity in an area which the prediction agrees with, then you’ve validated your coverage prediction with a measured coverage fact.
These two data sets working in tandem can unlock the idea of validated coverage for a range of operator use cases but what about the future? Will there ever be a time when we can move away from coverage predictions entirely? Possibly not anytime soon. What can be achieved in the short term however, is the continual investment into crowd-sourcing real experience data from subscribers with a keen focus on integration, correlation and live validation against predicted coverage data sets.
How Metricell can help you move from predictive to more representative coverage
Interestingly, current weather prediction modelling systems are taking a similar approach. The Met Office, Britain’s national weather service, began an initiative in the last few years to install small weather stations in volunteers’ gardens across the UK. This allows them to take their existing predictive data sets and validate them against numerous, ‘real-world’ measurements from across Britain. Actually Metricell are helping operators around the world do effectively the same thing…using subscriber phones instead of weather stations of course.
If you’d like your coverage predictions to look more like reality, you can request information on Metricell’s coverage validation approach. We’ll be happy to help.