Social media data mining to support 5G by identifying blackspots

6th August 2019
Alex Lynn

Ranplan Wireless is collaborating with the University of Warwick on a project funded by Innovate UK’s Geospatial Commission to identify wireless blackspots to support the rollout of 5G. The COCKPIT-5G project will use crowd blackspot intelligence sourcing and social media techniques along with real-time natural language processing to curate consumer data and build up an accurate connectivity map of the UK. 

With the start of the 5G rollout in the UK, new cell sites are being planned to address the problems of service blackspots with poor or no signal at all and meet the demand for new services to support autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and the growing digital economy. Enhancing 5G coverage to all areas of the UK moves towards the UK Government's ambition to become a global leader in 5G communication technologies.

The COCKPIT–5G project leverages the latest and best cutting-edge advances in social media viral campaigns and natural language machine learning to automatically build a database of blackspots and their geospatial and contextual information by understanding the consumer experience in real-time.

“The aim of the project is to use customer centric data to improve network deployment efficiency and increase user satisfaction,” said Jie Zhang, Chief Scientific Officer at Ranplan. “The vision is for 5G wireless networks to self-regulate as this is the future of managing complex ‘on demand’ connectivity in dense environments. By being able to identify coverage blackspots means that operators can also more precisely determine where to place additional small cells to ensure quality of service and save on CAPEX.”

Dr Weisi Guo, from the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick, added: “COCKPIT-5G will enable the UK to be world-leaders in new technologies by getting 5G coverage in blackspots. Businesses will be better connected, which in turn improves manufacturing, and we can enhance AI and the development of autonomous vehicles.”

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