Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 1

We have improved PopMaps to make it more informative and easier to integrate within an RF engineer’s planning workflow. See article below for details. This updated product is the first to benefit from multi-site R&D within the LuxCarta group of companies. Look for further product introductions and announcements in the New Year.

Population Sample Italy 2014

PopMaps for Traffic Planning and Spectrum Use


PopMaps is our new demographic product that provides a meaningful input for traffic planning and network dimensioning. It is designed for RF engineers to be used when deploying new technologies, performing greenfield planning or optimizing their networks. PopMaps is a medium-high resolution product (typically delivered at 2-20m) that is provided as an additional layer into LuxCarta Planner geodata sets. They are ideally suited to identify areas of high traffic demand for expansion and densification of the network; they also can also be used to demonstrate spectrum conditions have been achieved via population coverage.

The new version of PopMaps is an example of LuxCarta’s increased focus on R&D. The product is based on a number of algorithms designed to interpret data sources. PopMaps is dependent on two critical inputs: LuxCarta clutter databases and population statistics. The source, vintage and detail of administrative boundaries for population vary based on the available information for the requested country. We always use the latest available data, but where this is not uniformly available, we can extrapolate using older inputs for certain areas.

Use Cases for RF Engineers

Population Coverage

Spectrum is typically provided by regulators to mobile operators with coverage target conditions that much be achieved (e.g., 50% of population coverage within 24 months of grant of license). If the operator cannot prove their network rollout has achieved the targets, fines can be levied or the rights to the spectrum rescinded. PopMaps provides the baseline statistics, which along with coverage plots from your RF planning software, can be submitted to demonstrate regulatory compliance. The demographic information can also be used for planning departments to determine their network priorities and to build a nominal infrastructure budget based on pops coverage.

LTE Coverage Plot

5m PopMap

Area covered by LTE network: 77.98%
Population covered by the LTE network: 65.82%

Network Dimensioning

PopMaps also provides a useful input to capacity simulations for the planned network load. For greenfield deployments or the rollout of broadband technologies in the developing world, PopMaps provide an important input of where the network requires additional infrastructure to meet the total traffic generated by subscribers. This total traffic depends on the amount of data sent and received per subscriber and the total number of subscribers per cell, which is provided by PopMaps. Densification can be performed by adding new sectors, deploying new macro sites or even new small cells on top of existing network infrastructure based on clusters of population.

How PopMaps are Made

Density ratios of the different urban/city classes (i.e., suburban, dense suburban, urban, dense urban, core urban, building blocks, industrial, airport and open in urban) are calculated using an extensive system of non-linear equations. This is combined with calculated ratios to build a density raster map (per administrative division) from the distribution of the census population. Finally a vector map is generated with two attributes for each polygon: density (number of people per km2) and population (calculated in the polygon area).

Abidjan, IvoryCoast

What a User Can Expect

PopMaps are delivered in the same resolution as your project, making their use in your planning process as simple as possible. The file is delivered as a vector map in either SHP or TAB formats. These formats allow for quicker processing: pixels of the same density are grouped in a single polygon in order to reduce the total number of polygons and the calculation time when used within RF planning software.

We’ve been encouraged by the market reception to our new version of PopMaps. Engineers have informed us that PopMaps provide a meaningful “demand” input when they have no existing traffic on their network. They are also useful for reporting requirements tied to spectrum utilization for regulators. Contact your account manager to learn more about this innovative product.

News & Events

Mobile World Congress


Once again we’ll be attending Mobile World Congress (stand 6K15). Contact us if you want to schedule a meeting in advance of the world’s greatest wireless trade event.

WorldView 3 Launch

Our CTO Justin Hyland attended the launch of WorldView 3 in August. We have already received our first stereo imagery from our partner DigitalGlobe and will be generating geodata from it shortly. The satellite delivers 31cm resolution, 3.5 absolute XY from the satellite and hyperspectral SWIR bands.

Recent Projects

3D Projects