Advanced Data Mapping Service Opens New Vistas for Operators

Bryan Darr, president & CEO, Mosaik Solutions

Bryan Darr, president & CEO, Mosaik Solutions

March 8, 2012 – As the battle for subscribers and ROI intensifies across the mobile and fixed network divides ever more service providers are discovering advantages to employing data management and mapping resources that have their roots in the arcana of cellular roaming.
Mosaik Solutions, formerly known as American Roamer, is reaching out to cable and fixed wireline operators across North America to introduce them to an expanding portfolio of capabilities that are already widely deployed in the mobile sector. “We’re very well known in the wireless industry with clients like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and many smaller mobile operators,” says Mosaik president and CEO Bryan Darr. “Now we’re gaining traction with companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable as well.”

Essentially Mosaik has parlayed its deep experience in mapping cellular coverage to develop a suite of products that employ electronic mapping techniques and flexible modes of aggregating information for myriad purposes. These include ways to develop a better understanding of the competitive landscape, improve customer service, enhance marketing and e-commerce initiatives and facilitate relationships with other service providers, as in cases where Wi-Fi under control of one provider is used to offload mobile services of another.

“We’re running maps for Time Warner Cable and Comcast showing wireless mobile and Wi-Fi footprints in their service areas, all combined into a wireless information interface,” Darr says. “This is one example of how we draw data from the geospatial ecosystem of networks we track into a single database that people can access spatially.”

That ecosystem of networks includes what Darr describes as the world’s largest mobile network coverage catalog. “We track 1,300 plus networks operated by 700 different companies globally,” he says.

Mosaik also provides telecommunications coverage patterns, wireless spectrum depth, network configurations and licensing data, all of which can be tailored via geospatial and analytical tools to each client’s needs. In the U.S., Mosaik can create “CellMaps” for customers that tap data covering all the cellular licenses, cable TV franchises, broadcast TV stations, landline footprints and a wealth of demographic information, Darr notes.

“You can compile on a county-by-county basis information about population, including numbers of households, breakouts by race and age, median income and political information,” he says. “You can use CellMaps to provide public-facing information pushed out through websites to give customers information about services available to them based on their zip codes, about wireless coverage based on where they are or to support special promotions.”

Mosaik recently was cited by the FCC as its source for identifying served and underserved areas of wireless coverage as part of its Connect America Fund Report and the attendant National Broadband Map in the broadband stimulus effort. The company also works with wireless organizations such as Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association and the Rural Cellular Association to help the industry keep track of coverage, and it has begun a relationship with the National Cable and Telecommunications Association as well, Darr says.

In contrast to the CellMap approach, where Mosaik’s GIS (Graphics Information System) software experts and data analysts tailor databases with geospatial presentation layers for clients, Mosaik also makes its resources available through what it calls MapELEMENTs. This is a hosted interactive mapping solution that gives clients specialized browser access to network and market intelligence which they can incorporate into their own mapping systems, including commercial systems like Google Maps using special APIs developed by Mosaik.

MapELEMENTS offers different modules, based on the customer’s geographic focus and telecommunications coverage needs. Mosaik has just enhanced the platform in several ways which now allow users to see the entire telecom ecosystem for a selected boundary area in the U.S., including broadcast television radials, says Chip Strange, vice president of products and technology at Mosaik. “MapELEMENTS is now a global service that can help users make better strategic and tactical business decisions,” Strange says.

Another component of the Mosaik portfolio is the Global Coverage Analyzer, a Web-based interactive mapping application for viewing and comparing 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network coverage in 225 countries. In years past GSM-centric European carriers, unlike carriers in other parts of the world, had little need for this kind of mapping, given the uniformity of their coverage across densely populated footprints. But now there’s a big market for GCA in Europe as well, Darr notes.

“With 3G and 4G rollouts operators are using different spectrum segments with different propagation characteristics,” he says. “You might use 1800 MHz for data and 900 MHz for voice, so your data signal doesn’t go as far and you have spotty coverage. Now you need maps.”

With the flexibility to bring together all the data points in the Mosaik base with their own local information, operators of every description have an opportunity to tie data together with network footprints in ways never before possible, Darr says. “These capabilities are really starting to pay off for us as the interest level picks up,” he adds.