Step 1b: Top-Down Infrastructure Mapping

Once a review of the two overall approaches (top-down and bottom-up) has been conducted, a decision can be made on which approach to pursue, or which elements from both approaches to combine. As the Solutions Guide has been drafted from the perspective of individual communities that are not yet served by accessible and affordable telecommunication services, it will focus on the elements needed in the bottom-up approach. There are, however, many firms and resources (as noted in the description of the top-down approach) that can be contacted for comprehensive support for a top-down approach. The bottom-up approach tends to be more user- and locality-driven. The table below summarizes the pros and cons of both approaches.

Table 5: Top-down infrastructure mapping: examples

Map name

Geographic coverage

Network type

Publicly available or commercial service

Data downloadable to the public

URL

ITU Broadband Maps

Global

Terrestrial fibre, microwave and undersea fibre

Public

Limited access

Telegeography Submarine Cable Map

Global

Undersea fibre

Public

Yes

African Terrestrial Fibre Optic Cable Mapping Project (AfTerFibre)

Africa

Terrestrial fibre and undersea fibre

Public

Yes

The Connected Pacific

East Asia and the Pacific

Undersea fibre

Public

Yes

Satbeams

Global

Satellite

Public

Some

GSMA Mobile Coverage Maps

Africa (8 countries)

Terrestrial cellular

Public

No

Masae Analytics

Global

Terrestrial networks and undersea

Commercial

No

InfraNav

Global

Terrestrial networks and undersea

Commercial

No

Fraym

Africa

Terrestrial networks and undersea

Commercial

No

Towersource (infrastructure)

Global

Terrestrial networks

Commercial

No

mapELEMENTS (coverage)

Global

Terrestrial mobile coverage

Commercial

No

OpenSignal

Global

Terrestrial mobile coverage

Commercial

No