The Power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

In today’s interconnected world, the telecommunications industry plays a vital role in connecting people and businesses across the globe. As technology continues to advance, one tool continues to be essential in the telecommunications sector: Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The impact of GIS has revolutionized network planning, infrastructure management, and customer experience.

Understanding GIS in Telecommunications

Fiber mapsIn a previous GeoTel article, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is referred to as powerful software technology that allows the collection, management, analysis, and visualization of spatial data. Data intelligence compiled from GIS applications help companies and various industries, and consumers, make informed decisions.” In the telecommunications industry, GIS combines geographical data with network information to create comprehensive visual representations, enabling organizations to make data-driven decisions and optimize their operations.

Optimizing Network Planning

GIS plays a crucial role in network planning by providing telecom companies with detailed insights into the geographical landscape. By integrating GIS data with network infrastructure details, telecom operators can identify optimal locations for new towers, antennas, and network equipment. GIS also aids in predicting network coverage, capacity planning, and identifying areas with poor signal quality for targeted improvements.

Efficient Infrastructure Management

Effective management of telecommunication infrastructure is essential for delivering reliable services. GIS enables telecom operators to monitor and maintain their infrastructure efficiently. By visualizing network assets such as fiber optic cables, cell towers, and distribution points on a map, GIS helps identify bottlenecks, optimize routing, and streamline maintenance operations. Real-time updates and alerts ensure timely response to network outages, improving overall service reliability.

Digitizing and GIS Services

GeoTel will digitize all records of fiber route information into GIS. By integrating GIS with customer service systems, telecom operators can offer location-based services, such as pinpointing the nearest service centers or providing accurate ETA for service technicians. GeoTel provides a range of options for customers to customize their route information. Here are the available features and data formats:

  1. Fiber Route Layers: Customers can choose from various options to enhance their route information, including color, aerial photography, building footprints, and digital elevation data. These layers can be integrated with other datasets for a comprehensive view.
  2. GIS Data Formats: Customers have the flexibility to select the GIS format in which they want the data to be delivered. GeoTel supports popular formats like ESRI, GDB, Shapefiles, KML, and KMZ, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of GIS software and platforms.
  3. Data Attribute Fields: The fiber route information includes several data attribute fields that provide additional context and details. These fields may include the following:
    1. CBSA (Core-Based Statistical Area): Identifies the statistical area or region to which a particular location belongs. CBSA’s are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and used for various demographic and economic analyses.
    2. LATA (Local Access and Transport Area): This represents a geographic region used in telecommunications for defining the boundaries of local telephone markets. LATAs are used for regulatory and operational purposes in the telecommunications industry.
    3. Carrier Name: Specifies the name of the telecommunications carrier or provider associated with a particular fiber route, fiber lit building, etc.
    4. On or Off-Road Location: Indicates whether the fiber route is located on-road (along public roadways) or off-road (through private property, underground, etc.).
    5. Unique ID: Assigns a unique identifier to each fiber route, enabling easy identification and referencing within the dataset.

What Our Clients Are Saying

The data always looks great! We use it all the time to inform our decisions. It’s been very helpful. I am always pleased with data deliveries and if I have any questions the team is very responsive and helpful. I wish I was using this company 10 years ago. Five out of five stars, for sure.” ~ Matt B.

I have really enjoyed viewing it and looking at [it] for planning purposes. This data definitely comes in handy on daily a basis.” ~Alexis R.


Embracing GIS technology empowers telecommunication companies to stay ahead in the competitive landscape and meet the ever-growing connectivity needs of the digital era. If you are interested in accessing GeoTel’s GIS data, please be sure to contact the GIS Data Team today!

Written by: Parker Hughes