AnRep3D in Telecommunications (TelCo)

AnRep3D could have different names for different markets and purpospes of course, like EnRep3D (meaning Energy Representation in 3D and this might be the best alternative as it sounds very similar). Or something like CuCaRep3D (Cure and Care Reporting in 3D) and maybe even TelCo3D. We would need a lot of different manuals. For now the full manual, provided with our free 3D-graph generator package is still focusing at Annual Reports. Yet it is good to show some alternatives, despite the name of the generator. Today it’s TelCo’s turn.

Classic telephone pole

Photo by aitoff at Pixabay

Photo to the right by hpgruessen at Pixabay Modern telecom antenna

Let’s be honest: I don’t know much about Telecommunications (TelCo). I worked in this industry for about half a year, in a smaller company so I got a good overview of the complexity of the operations. Yet I’m not familiar with the strategy. To me Telco strategy is a strange mix of physics, economics and culture.

Usually I write about subjects I know, like finance (although a very broad area), energy and healthcare. Next time I hope to talk about the chemical part of agriculture, but first I would like to draw the attention of people in the world of TelCo. Don’t take this post too seriously, as I’ve just been collecting some numbers, to be able to show a 3D-graph.

From a consumer-perspective TelCo is about minutes, messages, megabytes and perhaps antennas, so those are the subjects I took.

Woman with phone

Photo by rawpixel at Pixabay

To get some data I took a Dutch marketing site, presenting minutes, texts and MB in thousands, which I converted by me to Mmin (millions of minutes of phone calls), Mtxt (millions of text messages) and GB (Gigabytes or billions of bytes). Then I went to the website of a Dutch regulator for the number of antennas active during a couple of years. It turns out there is a lot of them. Not millions, so I don’t present Mega-antennas but just their absolute number. The combination was available for four years, so it will be a rather simple graph this time.

First I show the input-file in Excel, just before saving it to a .csv-file (“MS-DOS format”, Excel still says after more than twenty years of Windows).

Inputfile AnRep3D in Excel

Then the output: the 3D graph in html (can be viewed in a webbrowser). The legend/key is put in the screenshot as a picture in picture, to provide some guidance.

Telco first 3D graph front-view

Double-click the screenshot to see the live 3D-graph in your browser. For manipulation: Clicking the right mouse-button, moving the mouse up and down will zoom the graph in and out. Clicking left and moving the mouse will tilt the graph in different directions (or move the observer’s viewpoint around a fixed graph – it’s relative of course). Double clicking in the graph translates it and moves the centre at the same time. As a result the way the graph tilts will change. Just try it. If you don’t know how to get the normal position back, just refresh the graph.

When I opened the graph is was surprised, as it is very different from the previous ones. Data-consumption has grown explosively, it seems. At the same time the number of text-messages went down, although not as impressive as one would expect. Most people replaced them by app-messages which will be in the data-segment. However, at the same time the Internet of Things (IoT) applications came up and sometimes a simple mobile phone sim-card is used to let those devices send their messages. This will put a halt to the decline of the text messages, I guess. The real IoT growth is in the data-segment of course.

Telco first 3D graph top-view

The number of antennas has increased slightly. So how do they keep up with the growth in data-usage? Were these antennas oversized from the beginning?

Although I thought this would be the end of this post, I was really curious about the background of this modest growth, so I dived a little deeper.

Photo (right) by republica at Pixabay

In the report of the regulator there is a classification in GSM (900 or 1800), UMTS and LTE. The latter is for real IoT-data. Counting the anntennas per category, an even more interesting graph could be created. A screenshot is shown below.

3D-graph antennas NL

Double-click the screenshot to see the live 3D-graph in your browser. For instructions on manipulation, see 3D-graph above

The LTE are coming from nowhere in 2013 to more or less the same number as all GSM-antennas (and nearly the same as UMTS) in 2016. All the growth in the number of antennas is coming from the LTE-group, but is there a relationship between data usage and LTE-antennas? Or was a lot of capacity available in the first place and has the percentage of occupation of the bandwidth gone up? I really wouldn’t know, but maybe some expert can elaborate us?

For more information, please have a look at our other posts at this blogsite, our website. or our youtube-channel. The free 3D-graph generator package (zip) can be downloaded, unpacked in a folder and the .jar file can be started immediately. Our email-address is  and on Twitter we are @AnRep3D

About AnRep3D

AnRep3D is the new company, founded after the handover of Scientassist (together with VRBI) to one of my sons. From now I will focus on three-dimensional graphs for the financial markets, showing the main figures from annual reports in comparison. As per 2021 a second product is available: EnRep3D. It is meant to visualise energy. Although the engine is the same, the texts, manual, website and examples (including blogposts) are focused at energy.
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