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Mar 21 2018

Finding and unlocking the value in mobile network data

It’s a cliché that we rely on our mobiles for everything these days – it’s the first thing we look at in the morning and we never leave the house without it. Our mobiles are inherently deeply personal devices and they bring great value to our private lives.

But what if our mobiles could do more? What if they could help make cities run better or help companies offer better products and services, more tailored to our needs?

The good news is that they can. Our mobiles know us nearly as well as we know them. The same data that connects mobiles to networks holds a great deal of value, and can help city planners create more liveable spaces, transport agencies provision better services and advertisers reach more relevant audiences.

This isn’t individual data, but rather anonymised network data. When the data from millions of subscribers is combined and any identifying features stripped out (phone numbers, for example), we unlock powerful insights into how the population behaves and can create profiles for different segments of the population (young workers, retirees, etc.).

This data is incredibly useful for everything from understanding travel patterns, optimizing networks and providing updates to travellers, to identifying where best to open a new shop, based on potential customer density. Applied to cities, this data can inform everything from smart tolls (based on traffic congestion) to urban planning and the provision of public services.   

The market for this kind of data is already booming, with social networks and online behemoths leading the charge. Data from mobile networks is quickly gaining ground as the market develops and Ovum’s recent data insights in digital advertising and the role of operators report found that 67% of brands already view mobile operators as good original sources for customer data insight, ahead of digital media companies, chat app platforms, and device manufacturers.

Some operators lack the market penetration to create such powerful data and insights on their own. Nokia is in the unique position to be able to combine large and diverse datasets, and make sense of them through our analytics capabilities. In a recent trial with a UK operator, we collected 9 billion data points – it takes a long time to build the ability to make sense of that data and turn it into value!

The final part of the data monetisation puzzle is efficiency. With the right data, you can better identify where to spend your budget and which activities have a genuine impact. This also means better engagement with your target audience and providing greater value. Citizens have their needs fulfilled by their city and the companies they use and satisfaction levels increase. It’s all about finding and using these insights.

While this isn’t a new story, it’s the first time this scale of mobile network data analysis has been available. This isn’t a revolutionary step, but rather a continuous development leading toward innovative solutions and services using data that’s already available.

We’re already doing some really exciting things with partners around the world, such as connecting browser data with network data to create highly targeted engagement and would love to talk to you about how network data can improve your city, company or service.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokia and @nokianetworks using #Analytics #SmartCities 

About Dennis Lorenzin

Dennis leads the Network Planning and Optimization business unit. As executive sponsor for the Global Services Analytics strategic initiative, he led the creation of the AVA cognitive platform and is now focusing on the launch of a cloud-based analytics model for services. Watch for Dennis on the speaker circuit, where he enjoys lecturing on the supply chain, industrial trends, and strategy topics.

Tweet me @DennisLorenzin