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Gartner: Market Locator as an opportunity for telcos to utilize location data

Gartner, a leading research and advisory firm, recently published a great market trends research paper looking into the ways telcos can exploit location data. A prominent example within this research paper was  the Market Locator big data monetization platform by Instarea.

Key insights

  • Telcos (or telecommunication companies, or CSPs) have access to a valuable source of data. This is residual telco data which contains a location aspect.
  • Use-cases telcos should extract from this data include: enhanced targeted marketing offering, location intelligence offering, smart government & smart municipality insights.
  • With improvements in 4G & 5G technology, the precision and use-case possibilities are yet to improve even more. Telcos should plan ahead and start putting their foot into the market.
  • Enable a quick and efficient go to market by partnering with a subject matter expert vendor or purchasing a white-labeled product from such.

Data at work

Companies have been putting their data to work for their own internal sake for some time now. The paradigm shift is in putting the data to work externally. For the benefit of other businesses & the public as well as to generate a new source of revenue from the data being generated. The enabling factor is the reduction in the cost of storage and possibilities in processing power.

Data storytelling

The path to monetizing big data is not, however, one of simply providing raw data to third parties. Not only is this the case due to legal restrictions (think GDPR) but also due to limited insight in raw data. It is essential to provide self-service solutions for data storytelling – such as Market Locator. The Market Locator approach tells both the story of population movements on a map and also allows direct action based on this data with targeted campaigns. So what specific use-cases can a telco deliver with its location insight data?

Multi-criteria hard data visualized on heat-maps big data monetization opportunities location data

Use-cases with telco location data

The Gartner research paper by Charlotte Patrick categorizes the use cases into three main categories

  • Internal use-cases
  • External use-cases
  • Augmented use-cases

It is the external use-cases where our focus has been with Market Locator. From self-service targeted campaigns, through retail store optimization all the way to urban planning for smart cities and smart municipalities of the future.

Smart city

A telco’s data is ideally positioned to provide insights for the cities & municipalities today & in the future. Use-cases in the analytics field for smart cities which we have developed in Market Locator together with our telco partners include population analytics within a city (e.g. origination & destination matrix) or tourism insights (how do tourists behave in a country, where they visit or how long they stay). On top of these, we can enable public service institutions to leverage the data and communication possibilities a telco has to e.g. deliver amber alert messages the moment a child goes missing to everyone in the area.

Also research firm Forrester has been emphasizing the need for the public sector to go smart or as Forrester puts it “Get SMART in the age of the citizen”. One of the ways they advocate to achieve this is through analytics and access to data as this will enable government transformation. With Market Locator we have specifically been addressing the need for simple access to reliable insights – such as those from anonymized & aggregated residual telco (CSP) big data.

Advertising, Marketing

Due to the scale of data a telco (or bank for that matter) have they are ideally positioned to “provide a view of consistent patterns of behavior” (Gartner, 2017) of customers. This “location-based marketing (LBM) has created a reasonable size business for a range of CSPs” (Gartner, 2017) LBM using the Market Locator solution has proved its relevance both for telcos (implemented together with Slovak Telekom, Orange or O2) as well as for advertisers (over 2000 business users of the solution).

Location intelligence

Retailers, as well as financial institutions or any other business dealing with customers, need insight into their behavior. Location intelligence based on telco big data provides such companies with an understanding of the potential footfall of a new location or that of a competitor. Additionally, such telco location intelligence can provide a means to optimize OOH marketing placement e.g. based on the origination analysis of customers visiting a certain location. A cherry on top of the cake is the ability of a telco to provide real-time insights into how many people are in a certain area at the very moment. The above mentioned are just some of the location intelligence use-cases Market Locator together with our telco partners is providing.


One of the recommendations within the Gartner research is not to underestimate the power of partnerships – both with vendors & among other telco providers. We agree and we have built our approach to business on a partnership approach, rather than a pure technology vendor. On the one hand, this allows us to bring much more to the table than just the technology & expertise, but also a complete go-to-market strategy.

On the other hand, this partnership approach allows us to pose as an intermediary which facilitates other telco providers on one market to bring their analytics & channel offering to the table in one unified solution, thus reducing the bias and allowing advertisers to access the entire market in one solution. Read more about how we brought Slovak Telekom, Orange Slovakia & O2 Slovakia into one solution on the Slovak market.

Get in touch

Are you a director of new business development at a telco or bank? We will be happy to discuss how Market Locator could be monetizing your data. With a number of integration projects running globally we are able, together with you, to bring an awesome new product to your business clients within 6 months. Tangible & fast data monetization has become possible 🙂 Reach out to me at matej.misik@instarea.com or connect on LinkedIn.

The Gartner research paper

We encourage you to read the research paper published by Gartner. It provides a great deal more insight into the location insight opportunity for telcos with which we agree. It is our mission to be at the forefront of location insight applications with our Market Locator solution & partnerships with telcos worldwide.


Matej Misik

Director Business Development at Instarea. Experienced data monetization consultant. Holds a MSc degree in Economics from the Tilburg University and a BA degree from the WU Wien.

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