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Internet of Things Mobile World Congress Editor's Picks Maps

This is how you use 3D maps to build better 5G networks

The demand for high speed wireless is growing fast, leading mobile network providers into a race for who can supply broad 5G coverage first.

How fast will 5G networks be? Tests indicate that speeds will jump nearly 10 times faster than the current 4G LTE networks. Others in the industry claim that connections will be 30-50 times faster. The numbers vary greatly, and only time will tell what changes 5G will bring about.

But before various mobile wireless providers begin making promises about their coverage and network speeds, there is one key issue facing any speculative 5G network – it requires new transmitters.

Why are new transmitters needed? In a nutshell, 5G networks will be operated on higher frequencies than current consumer networks. The higher frequency signal provides speed, but signals don’t reach as far and are more easily hindered by line-of-sight issues. Thus, a significant amount of resources are required to decide where new transmitters should be built.

Enter HERE, Infosys and Shields

As part of the MWC Barcelona exhibition this week, we’re pleased to announce a new strategic partnership between our three companies. This goal of our efforts: to create a powerful tool which streamlines the design process for 5G networks, and brings those designs to life with significantly lowers costs for the network provider.

This solution for building optimal networks comes from a unique blend of technologies and talents. Infosys, a global leader in digital services and consulting, will provide machine-learning software and a service delivery platform for network planners. Shields will add their expertise in radio frequency and radio network coverage design. HERE will contribute the precise 3D datasets derived from hundreds of thousands of kilometers of high definition mapped roadways.

Our expertise in extracting features and 3D environmental objects such as poles, trees, terrain models and buildings elevates environmental network planning from theoretical to physical. The real-world modeling brings a new level of precision based on the true environment that must be covered by the next generation of radio frequencies. 

Greater accuracy in the tools used to plan out future networks takes the guesswork out of transmitter selection and placement. 3D tools reduce the number of physical site-surveys needed to plan for each specific area. Network design can now take a few days, and mobile network operators can perform upgrades, install new equipment and add capacity far more quickly than before.

The combined HERE, Infosys and Shields solution will enable cost-cutting and streamlining of many of the traditionally labor and time-intensive tasks associated with 5G cell site selection via the 3D digital site survey. We are excited by the prospect of continuing to collaborate with these talented partners as we design the next generation of mobile networks with our clients all over the world.


Join us at Mobile World Congress on February 25-27th and discover our Live Experiences exhibit in our HERE Tech Lounge at Plaça d’Europa. Book your meeting now, or follow our social media channels for our coverage of the event.

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