Research Note

October 2023 How 5G and open RAN are making geolocation-based insights a must have for MNOs

October 2023


Although the concept of implementing geolocation intelligence in mobile networks as an optimization tool that ensures the user quality of experience is not new and has been in existence for well over a decade, two new technological forces are creating a new role for geolocation-based insights: 5G and open RAN. As trusted partners aggregating and anonymizing the data, the mobile network operators (MNOs) are in a unique position to harvest their 5G gold mine.

  1. 5G: elevates geolocation intelligence from 15 years of ensuring and enhancing the customer experience to dynamically providing large granular curated data sets on a per use case basis that are quickly delivered to enable each use case ranging from superior network performance optimization to 5G-driven business decisions. Given current geopolitical and macroeconomic conditions:
    1. Energy savings, coverage and capacity optimization, and handover are seen as immediate candidates for 5G geolocation-based insights augmentation.
    2. Geolocation intelligence provides customer location and behavior data that can be valuable for the transportation business, consumer behavior analysis, urban planning, tourism experience and emergency services.
  2. Open RAN: the novel architecture enters its fourth year of existence with strong commitment from tier 1 MNOs all over the world, its open interfaces will allow the development of new automation strategies, which would not otherwise be possible in today’s vertically integrated environment. As a result, new 5G specific use cases envisioned in a RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) equipped with geolocation intelligence include near real time channel estimation, massive MIMO, traffic steering and RAN slicing.

Finally, the era of switch data and drive test measurements for network performance and optimization is over. The advent of 5G drives the shift from cell-based to sophisticated subscriber location-based approaches.

With its flagship Network Integrated Test, Real-time analytics and Location Intelligence platform (NITRO), VIAVI Solutions is uniquely positioned to help MNOs benefit from the new opportunities listed above.

The complete text of this publication is available in your account or in the Resources page on the website (

Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst
Produced in association with VIAVI Solutions

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