What Makes a Good Map

The ability to present clear concise geographical information is critical to any business. The wireless business takes that a step further with success coming from know where the positive and negative impacts to the network occur. The ability to create easily identifiable maps that can tell the story they need to makes for an improved engineering organization. The more quality looking the map, the better it will be accepted and understood by the final user.

Cultivating Creative Engineering Solutions

Engineers are creative people in a different sense. Engineers require problems and outputs. From those two things, the creativity flows. In telecom two trends seem to continue in limiting this creativity. The first being that exposure to the real "problems" in a network are often covered up, masked, or not addresses completely. Without having a focus on problems, it makes it difficult to come up with proper solutions (outputs).

Coverage and Influencing the Customer Experience

Engineering discussions tend to focus on how to improve the KPIs in the sense of network quality, reduce drops, improve accessibility, etc. Fixing coverage holes is always noted, but this tends to be fixing coverage the "right" way, which is typically the long term capital improvement. Long term network fixes come through large scale site build, low-band spectrum acquisition, improved hardware deployment, or alternative network types which is typically large capital expenditures.

The Deviation of Engineering KPIs

Engineering KPIs such as retainability (drops) and accessibility (blocks/coverage) are focused on because they are supposed to mimic the customer experience. Or at least they "were" supposed to mimic the customer experience. As engineering performance in these areas became the measurement of team success, an interesting line of deviation may have occurred. There's long been the hidden philosophy of RF engineers that a customer can't drop a call if they can't make it, that network quality will improve if there's only good coverage, and that if a customer hangs up first it isn't a drop.