With the advent of the Cloud, just about everything imaginable that comes from it now has the title of “. . . as a Service” attached to it. First, it started with Software as a Service (also known as SaaS). This then proliferated to other services, with the newest one now coming from the GIS Industry. This one is now called the “Timing as a Service”, or “TaaS” for short.
The ultimate objective of this is to provide high quality and robust back up GPS services when the traditional signals get disconnected. This brand new innovation comes from the GIS vendor known as “NextNav”. The specific industries to which TaaS is being positioned for includes cellular network operators, utility companies, and financial services firms.
The TaaS is delivered over the companies’ Metropolitan Beacon System (also known as the MBS). This is in essence a Wide Area Network. This is also known as a terrestrial network, in that the GPS signals which are provided from it can reach even the most desolate regions on the planet. However, the main drawback of the TaaS is that it is only delivered from the air, and thus, it can be greatly impacted by any adverse weather condition.
But to counter these types of threats, NextNav also makes use of Atomic Clocks, to serve as a primary means of backup in case its signals get bounced off. The TaaS will also be upgraded and provisioned for the upcoming 5G wireless signals, which makes use of the LTE and the LTE-A small cells.
According to Ganesh Pattabiraman, the Co-Founder and current CEO of NextNav, “Small cells are the ideal way to provide densification in important urban environments where mobile data traffic overwhelms large cell towers and where macro base stations are prohibitively expensive . . . MBS excels in these environments. As small cell requirements for timing and synchronization precision advance with each new generation of technology, NextNav delivers an effective, truly mass market solution supporting the rising demand for small cells at an appropriately low total cost of ownership.” (SOURCE: http://www.directionsmag.com/pressreleases/nextnav-launches-metro-wide-timing-as-a-service/474820).
GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 7000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data.