Digital connectivity consultancy FarrPoint is working with the Government of New Brunswick in Canada, the largest of Canada’s three maritime provinces, to deliver a new mobile mapping project across the roads of the 72,908 km² province.
With New Brunswick’s residents and businesses reporting mobile connectivity issues, the Government of New Brunswick has turned to FarrPoint and its Mobile Coverage Mapper tool to capture an accurate picture of the province’s current connectivity availability and “not spots”. The outcomes of the six-month project will inform the government’s policy decisions.
FarrPoint’s innovative Mobile Coverage Mapper is an autonomous network monitoring tool that provides real-life performance statistics of all available mobile networks.
When the mapping is complete, the Government of New Brunswick will have an accurate and reliable understanding of mobile LTE (4G) connectivity across more than 32,000km of roads in the province – many of which are in rural and sparsely populated areas where residents depend on connectivity to thrive and prosper – particularly important with the significant rise in remote working.
The Mapper comprises a small device with magnetic antennas that is placed on the roof of a vehicle and can track the local connectivity levels on the routes it takes. Crucially, unlike other solutions, it does not require the expertise of engineers or technicians to man a vehicle with specialist equipment and can be fitted into any vehicle as it drives the route of interest. In many deployments, councils have placed these on bin lorries, maximising the use of local vehicle infrastructure to complete the mapping programme. FarrPoint continuously collates and processes the data through its mapping servers as the drives are undertaken, enabling a true picture of mobile network performance to be built. These real-life measurements will supplement the detailed desk top technical modelling which FarrPoint will complete of predicted coverage from the range of cellular towers across the province.
Hon. Ernie Steeves, Minister of Finance with the Government of New Brunswick, said: “Connectivity is a key and basic requirement of living in an area as sparsely populated as New Brunswick. The insight we gain from this project will help us make informed decisions as to how to improve connectivity for our 789,000 residents.”
Dr Andrew Muir, CEO of FarrPoint, said: “This is exactly the type of project we had in mind when we created our Mobile Coverage Mapper tool. Rather than just relying on carrier data, which makes it difficult to build an accurate, real-life picture of connectivity, the Government of New Brunswick will, at the end of this project, have a holistic view of connectivity in the province and will be able to make more informed decisions as a result.
“With more than 32,000km of road to survey, this will be no small feat but, having delivered many similar projects across the UK – including the Highlands and Islands of Scotland – we know how valuable this data is in resolving longstanding connectivity issues in rural locations.”
The project is FarrPoint’s first in Canada since opening its an office in Halifax, Nova Scotia early 2020.
To date, the business has advised on more than £3.5bn worth of connectivity infrastructure projects, including £1.5 billion in the past year. In the same period, FarrPoint has seen revenues grow by 22% thanks to a number of new clients across multiple sectors.