Even though telecommunications is one of the most matured utility in the country today, there are significant gaps in standardizing the information flow protocols.
GIS applications began as departmental tools with specific pre-defined scope. However, telecom providers have integrated GIS in their overall workflow. Figure below shows a block diagram for the data segregation and its integration with GIS tools
GIS allows integration of workflows from different business functions into a central analytical application. Further, it also allows the geo-referenced asset data to be traced via desktops as well as mobile devices. This renders GIS applications usability beyond just departmental tools.
Point data helps in tracking not just the infrastructure performance but also allows a better issue handling. This allows quicker customer servicing and thus, a more satisfied customer. Needless to say, the economy achieved out of the workflow integration in GIS yields a better RoI on capex. The figure below estimates the RoI multiplier for investment in GIS for a telecom service provider
Even though GIS adoption has proven to be cost effective, there seem to be basic challenges which still need to be addressed for its full capacity utilization. Despite the cost benefit, the matter of fact remains that the investments in the full-fledged enterprise wide GIS adoption are humongous. Legacy systems with limited data portability form a challenge that the service providers need to address from infrastructure point-of-view. The availability of accurate underlying customer and asset data is another challenge that service providers need to address. The dynamic nature of both of these data sets take the challenge to a next level. Availability of landbase information and maps is another roadblock in GIS adoption.
Despite these challenges, enterprise-wide GIS adoption promises to be a way forward for telecom service providers to get that strategic advantage over competition and control the customer churn.
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