LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Mobile network big data: How many more years will it retain its unique value?

Returning from an expert meeting on big data n Bangkok, I was in the passenger seat on the way back from the airport. Looked up Google maps for the traffic. This feature has been available in Sri Lanka only for a few weeks.

On the main roads, it was pretty accurate. Once we turned off to a busy, but not-a-principal road, the traffic indicator went blank. Then, on the even less important roads leading to my house, the indicator lit up again. I actually had a choice of routes in the last bit. I followed Google’s advice and saw that the rejected route was jam-packed.

So what should I conclude?

How long will it be, before the application developed by Ashwin Mahesh for Bengaluru where traffic congestion is detected by variations from the norm, detected by analysis of VLRs, becomes superfluous? I assume Ashwin’s service is focused on principal arteries, which are the most likely to be quickly populated by data from smartphones.

This touches on the question of representativity. On the roads used by people with smartphones, it is likely that the job can be done much easier by Google maps. It’s the other roads and the people who use them we need to worry about. Bu even those roads will get populated. And then what use will MNBD be? How long will they retain value?

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