Are You Being Served?
Telefonica del Perú S.A.A.,
(Telefonica) the Republic of Peru's telecommunications giant, is
a wide-ranging public communications provider that includes wireless
and landline telephone, cable television, broadband, and Internet
access within its comprehensive array of services.
Among the crown jewels of the company's assets is Cable Mágico,
its cable television network, which is based in the competitive Lima
market.To help maintain its technological edge, Cable Mágico
implemented a GIS in its customer service department.Among other
applications, this GIS helps the marketing department perform customer
segmentation analysis for its planning and sales forecast reports.In
addition, it helps monitor the cable television network to eliminate
clandestine connections.Both applications run on a customer
information system, an Informix- based system.
Comments Edison Ramirez Motta, technical area systems coordinator for
Telefonica , "During the past five years, Telefonica del
Perú has been systematically developing its GIS, which has
ultimately expanded into a corporate wide system with which it
integrates, maintains and distributes spatial data throughout the
entire company.In creating the Cable Mágico application, it
made extensive use of this corporate GIS."
In building its GIS, the company exerted substantial effort in
collecting, digitizing and standardizing its spatial data, which in
some cases had been originally collected in CAD formats.This effort
required more than two years of work and cost almost $4 million.The
degree of detail is down to the "door" level, in which each customer
has a unique identifying point within the system, specifying the door
of the house or place of business where telecommunications service has
been installed.The maps were digitized at a scale of 1:1,000 to allow
more variables for analysis, so the GIS could provide better support
for decision-making at the enterprise level.Spatial data was also
integrated with its legacy Informix-based system.
Using ESRI's ArcIMS, which provides Internet access to its ArcSDE and
Oracle managed spatial database, service representatives of Cable
Mágico can run a service area application and immediately
determine if a potential customer is located within the company's
existing coverage area.If service is currently provided to the area,
the system generates a work order that is forwarded to the installation
department and subsequently printed from a common Web browser.If the
potential customer is outside the existing service area, the address
information is collected to determine the feasibility of expanding
network coverage in the future.
The Telefonica enterprise GIS uses a three-tiered architecture.
This architecture loosely couples the applications and data as opposed
to the more rigid client/server model.The three-tier model allows the
company greater flexibility in using and modifying its applications and
Comments Américo Gamarra Pacheco, integrated systems analyst for
Telematica S.A., ESRI's GIS software distributor in Peru, "A big
advantage of the three-tiered architecture is that most of the
company's business methods, regulations and strategies are held in the
server where it is easier to make changes for specific applications and
projects.One of the company's goals is to provide centralized
administration and maintenance to promote the distribution of urban
cadastral information to each of the many business units within the
corporation, and this architecture supports that process."
Planning Department and Wireless Division
Another application that Telefonica is excited about is one
developed by its planning department.Among the data collected in the
enterprise GIS is statistical and demographic information about
customers and their demand for landline telephones.The planning
application allows the company to analyze its existing service areas
using this demographic data so it can make intelligent decisions
concerning the expansion of its coverage areas and the investments
required to continue providing quality service to its customers.The
application was completely developed in Visual Basic using the
interfaces available through ArcView and Crystal Reports.This
application is the first one the company developed using ArcGIS
technology, which it uses to manage service and installation requests.
Comments Carlos Vidal, GIS technical area coordinator for the planning
department at Telefonica, "These thematic maps let us represent
our information based on saturation levels of our land base telephone
installations and their areas of influence so we can easily make better
and faster decisions now."
In addition, the company's wireless division uses ArcView to analyze
the volume of traffic on its many telecommunications antennas.This
allows the division to orient each antenna to allow maximum coverage
while minimizing overlaps in the areas served by adjacent antennas as a
result of processing and mapping on-line tabular information regarding
status, traffic, failures and other parameters of the cell antennas.It
also provides essential information for decision-making in expanding
service areas, the placement of supplemental antennas and mapping
alarms for failures of antennas to quickly solve any emergency.
Because of its detailed geodatabase, Telefonica has been able to
develop products for use throughout the company, including an
electronic street reference guide for Lima called the "Callejero," or
"On the Street," distributed via the Intranet and widely used by all
the business units in the company's various divisions.
Concludes Gamarra, "Telefonica del Perú has implemented
an enterprise GIS that can serve as a model in functionality and
flexibility for other telecommunications companies that are integrating
GIS into their operations."
Published Friday, May 20th, 2005
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