Mapping software, such as that offered by MapInfo Corp., has become a core component in many radio frequency monitoring and propagation modeling programs.
“Since our product is being used as a key component in their products, we want to make sure we are addressing the telecom industry,” said Tom Holec, telecom marketing manager for MapInfo.
MapInfo has introduced MapX, an open standard mapping object that developers can integrate into any business application that uses standard programming languages such as Visual Basic, Visual C++, Delphi or PowerBuilder.
Once MapX has been customized, developers can reuse and deploy the code across multiple applications, MapInfo said.
“This innovative development approach eliminates the countless hours of end user training and support typically associated with integrating new software applications within an organization,” MapInfo said.
A customer can embed MapX into RF information software to deliver mapping analysis in a form with which other company users are comfortable.
The Troy, N.Y.-based company has been creating mapping software applications for the telecommunications industry for the last 10 years and that segment of its business has experienced a growth surge in recent years.
“In the last five years, operators bought our software to look at ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) deployment and solve business needs,” Holec said.
More than 20 domestic telecom companies have built “mission critical applications around MapInfo, but twice that number could be using it,” Holec said.
BellSouth Mobility DCS uses desktop mapping in its network management center, where dropped calls are monitored to pinpoint the need for additional sites, MapInfo said. BellSouth DCS operates a personal communications services network in the Carolinas and Tennessee.
Ameritech Cellular has integrated MapInfo technology into its Great Lakes operations, where it uses mapping for quality control and in-field data gathering, MapInfo said.
British Telecommunications plc is an important international customer for MapInfo, and is integrating its software mapping solutions into BT’s existing programs.
Although, MapInfo products are generally Windows and Macintosh based, many RF propagation systems are Unix driven and also can work with MapInfo.
“You can export the results from a propagation tool, put it into standard industry format and import it into MapInfo,” Holec said.
Two major MapInfo partners are Grayson Electronics and Moffet, Larson & Johnson Inc. Grayson uses the software for testing applications. MLJ uses MapInfo within propagation modeling, MapInfo said.
MapInfo also has introduced the ProServer to deploy desktop mapping across the Internet and corporate intranets. Instead of installing MapInfo software on every desktop, developers can use client/server networks to deliver Web-based desktop mapping applications, through ProServer.