Change in towers over time

Hi everyone! a few question from me, if anyone can help:

  • I am trying to track over time how many cells each operator has by geography. Any thoughts on how to do this? Is the “created” data field a proxy for a date? I am opening the data files in excel and can’t make sense of the date format.
  • Assuming “created” can be used as a proxy for the date the cell was installed by the telco operator, any precautions in using this data to track number of cells by operator over time?
  • Is it fair to exclude from the data cells where only [5] or less samples are available? Why are there so many cells that only have 1/2 samples available?

Thank you,

Hi Augusto,

Please find my responses below:

  1. You can track the cells of different MNOs by using LTE identifiers. Using MNC you can get the cells of specific MNO and the provided latitude and longitude can be used for geography. Also, there is a UNIX time stamp in the database which you can utilized to see when the samples from the corresponding cells are recorded.

  2. The precaution that you should take care of is to handle the redundancy in this raw database. There exists multiple data points of a single cell so you need to cater accordingly.

  3. The less no of samples for some cells may represent two conditions. First, they may be installed before and then may be upgraded to the new RAT in view of the required capacity or coverage. Second, there may be a very few number of OpenCellID user for that cell.

I hope my response will help you to move forward. You can also refer to the IEEE article here (Service-Based Network Dimensioning for 5G Networks Assisted by Real Data | IEEE Journals & Magazine | IEEE Xplore) to understand more about OpenCellID for cleaning, extracting and using the LTE identifier to get full insights from the data.