How T-Mobile uses Spatial Data for 5G Deployment at Scale

T-Mobile US, Inc.

T-Mobile US, Inc.


The Client

T-Mobile US, Inc. is an American wireless network operator partly owned by German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom (DT). Its headquarters are located in Bellevue, Washington, in the Seattle metropolitan area, and Overland Park, Kansas, in the Kansas City metropolitan area. T-Mobile is the second-largest wireless carrier in the United States, with 108.7 million subscribers as of the end of Q4 2021.

The Challenge

Following a pilot period beginning in 2019, T-Mobile launched its 5G home internet service in early 2021, with 30 million homes across the US eligible.

Wireless internet for a fixed address requires a significantly different qualification process than a traditional internet service provider (ISP). Making informed decisions about candidacy requires a large amount of spatial data.

There are 185 million unique addresses in the US, each with untold variables associated with them, creating the challenge of how to make sweeping determinations of who is qualified for service. This also includes determining at an aggregate level which zip codes, MSAs, or states have the greatest potential.


T-Mobile built an internal analytics platform that leverages CARTO for processing and visualization to help them translate spatial data into actionable intelligence and provide services to allow enterprise channel sales and marketing partners to sell their products more effectively.

Geospatial and network teams are able to calculate the capacity for delivering a consistent internet experience by analyzing the propagation of radio frequency to households within the cell site’s coverage footprint.

T-Mobile are able to predict the expected experience of a home internet customer by accounting for terrain and foliage interference from a tower or where a device must be positioned in their home.

Screenshot 2022-01-24 at 12.48.46


Using CARTO has enabled T-Mobile to analyze service qualification at scale due to its comprehensive support for a wide range of functions and libraries including spatial indexes. They have been able to simplify large-scale challenges, for example taking radio frequency propagation and converting it to uniformly shaped hex bins.

The use of CARTO APIs has enabled business users in the organization with limited Data Science skills to explore data without having to worry about how to perform tasks related to common data aggregations or schema exploration. All in all, T-Mobile have been able to build a creative solution to a complex industry problem with sufficient flexibility and scalability as they grow their network.


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