Austrian Post’s fleet used to measure the quality of mobile phone network coverage

Austrian Post’s fleet used to measure the quality of mobile phone network coverage

Austrian Post and Ranlytics announced the successful deployment of Ranlytics’s unique patent-pending technology on mail transport vehicles to accurately measure the quality of mobile phone network coverage on main roads in and around Vienna. 

The capability will soon be extended to mail delivery vehicles to frequently measure mobile network coverage at the individual address level.

All A1, Magenta and Drei Telecom 3G and 4G networks are now being measured daily on many highways and main arterial roads in the vicinity of Vienna, and between Vienna and Salzburg, between Vienna and Graz, and between Vienna and Laa an der Thaya.

This revolutionary approach is providing the most detailed insights into the quality of mobile network coverage ever seen in Europe; and will identify the location of all black spots, and all areas on and near these roads affected by poor quality voice calls and mobile data connectivity.

The technology will be upgraded shortly to measure all three mobile operators’ new 5G networks.  And in early 2022, we will start equipping postal delivery vehicles with Ranlytics’s patent-pending technology to measure mobile coverage at the residential, commercial, and rural address level.  Ultimately, our aim is to equip all of Austrian Post’s approx. 8,000 vehicles with the ability to continuously measure mobile coverage on every road and street, in every city and town throughout the country.

And in another first, the information is accessible to both telecommunications engineers, and also – in a simplified form via easy-to-use map-based browser screen, to non-engineers at government agencies, commercial customers, and other organisations interested in understanding mobile network coverage.

Using Austrian Post’s vehicle fleet to make these measurements eliminates the need for each of the mobile operators to deploy their own vehicles – saving costs, time, and carbon emissions.  And when Post’s CO2 free Delivery initiative is fully implemented in 2030, we will be collecting the highest quality mobile coverage data with zero carbon emissions.

Chief Executive Officer of Ranlytics, Keith Sheridan said that the trial delivers a step change in understanding critically-important network coverage.

“Mobile networks are very dynamic, and coverage and quality can change significantly from week to week, and over distances as small as 2 metres.

The only way to truly understand how each network is performing at a particular location is to measure all networks using specialised equipment at that location.  And that must be done frequently given how much these networks are continuously changing.  But, making these detailed measurements over large areas has been a huge challenge for mobile operators globally for over 30 years, and it’s been absolutely impossible for any mobile operator to measure coverage in every street.  The many black spots and coverage issues that we all experience every day are the inevitable result of the mobile operators simply not knowing where all of their coverage issues are.

We’re honoured to be partnering with Austrian Post as one of the most innovative and environmentally-sustainable postal providers in the world.  Together, we’re revolutionising the community’s understanding of mobile network coverage and quality, and we’re proud to be providing our customers with the highest quality engineering-grade measurement data at every address.  That means that our data is significantly better than crowd-sourced information, and meets the needs of the engineers who are designing, optimising and maintaining these very complex networks.

With the rapid growth in IoT, sensor networks, factory & farm automation, autonomous vehicles and the like, all of which rely on high-quality mobile network coverage, understanding and assuring network coverage is becoming increasingly critical to our economies and to our societies.

We’re thrilled to now be in commercial discussions with customers here in Austria for this data service.  Plans are well-evolved to then take the model that we’ve developed with Austrian Post to multiple postal providers and other fleet owners across Europe, and beyond.”

Felix Slavik, Vice President Project Management and Innovation, Parcel and Logistics, at Austrian Post sees the measurement of mobile phone network coverage as being closely aligned with Austrian Post’s charter and its goal of using its fleet for more than logistics services.

Gathering additional data like temperature, air pressure or in this case mobile network quality and coverage, further enhances Austrian Post’s footprint as a unique service provider.

“We are very happy with the current results and see a great future in the cooperation with Ranlytics as we roll out the testing devices all over Austria. Apart from the measurement, it also gives us the chance to see where bad mobile network coverage could lead to issues with our handheld devices and their ability to send and receive data necessary for our delivery services. This information alone makes the project worthwhile.”

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