ZURICH and NUREMBERG, Germany, June 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Big data analytics company, Teralytics, partners with sustainability solutions specialist, South Pole Group, mobile phone operator, Telefónica Germany, and the city of Nuremberg to find a smart data solution for air pollution.
As urban areas are confronted with the challenge of accelerating rates of CO2 emissions, officials seek new solutions for cleaner air. However, the first step starts with collecting accurate data to identify major air pollution hotspots. Taxpayer resources need to be carefully allocated and expenses need to be justified. That's where big data can help. Teralytics is a technology company helping telecom operators, like Telefónica Germany, transform massive amounts of mobile signal data into useful insights about traffic and crowd mobility patterns on a real-time, nationwide scale.
For cities, air quality measurement projects can be costly. It requires people to sit at intersections and manually count traffic. This is not only expensive, but inaccurate - providing only a small snapshot at a single point in time. The goal of this pilot project is to find a better solution using a more accurate, scalable and cost-effective method: mobile data. This technique is more dynamic, and provides a larger sample size compared to traditional means of data collection.
Telecom data as the key to traffic measurement
How fast are cars traveling? Which roads are the most congested? And what mode of transportation are commuters using? Anytime a mobile device communicates with a cell tower, it sends a signal and transmits data. Teralytics transforms terabytes of this signal data to provide real-time crowd movement analysis. Customer data remains fully protected during this process. Telefónica Germany anonymizes the data using a three-step process, which removes any personally identifiable information in the data. Conclusions can thus only be made about larger groups of people, rather than individuals. By correlating the amount of mobile signal data with the corresponding traffic patterns, estimates about air pollution emissions are derived.
Pilot project in Nuremberg
For the city of Nuremberg, tackling air pollution is a high priority. Officials are in the midst of drafting a new clean air plan, and the results of the pilot project will help shape the priorities in the plan. As Germany's largest mobile communications provider in terms of subscribers, Telefónica Germany is providing the anonymized mobile data. Teralytics will transform the data using their advanced technology platform based on machine-learning and advanced algorithms. The South Pole Group will provide the analysis to calculate air pollution emissions. Data quality checks will be done using historical data for comparison.
Using the results of this project, the city of Nuremberg will enact measures in the regions where air quality is worst. For example, the city council could substitute transportation options that have high emissions with options that produce lower emissions, or they could identify areas to expand bicycle lanes. By having better traffic data, cities like Nuremberg now have new ammunition in the fight against smog.
Markus Haas, COO Telefónica Germany: "A large number of data is available to us through our standard business processes, including a large percentage of data that is only produced for us as a network operator, for instance mobility data. This pilot project shows that we can contribute to climate protection by analyzing data. We plan to realize further projects in the future for which our mobility data can provide added value for society."
Georg Polzer, CEO and Founder of Teralytics: "Aggregated mobile phone data provides us with insights into the movement patterns of the population. Until now, it has been hard to gather this data at scale.
With this pilot project we want to demonstrate the importance and value this data holds for economic as well as a social benefits."
Renat Heuberger, CEO South Pole Group: "The accurate measurement of CO2 and short-lived air pollutants in cities is a complex task. Through our pilot project, we can develop an entirely new approach to assist in this task not only cities like Nuremberg, but also cities in emerging countries, who are faced with rapidly increasing emissions. This new method could significantly contribute to ensuring to better climate protection in the urban space."
For more information contact Heather.Hooks@teralytics.net
About the Project Partners
Teralytics is changing the way you do market research. We use breakthrough technology and machine learning algorithms to transform terabytes of data from telecom operators, one of the richest sources of human behavioral data. Analyze crowd movement, track mobility patterns, and uncover behavioral trends based on billions of aggregated, real-time mobile signals. We provide the retail, real estate, transportation, financial, and mobile advertising industries access to intelligence from the largest global consumer panel available. As the leading expert in big data analytics for mobile carriers, our partnerships span the globe with some of the largest operators in North America, Europe, and Asia. Headquartered in Zurich, Teralytics has offices in New York, and Singapore. For more information, visit www.teralytics.net
Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG, with its operating subsidiaries Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG and E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH, is listed in the Prime Standard at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company offers its German private and business customers post-paid and prepaid mobile communications products as well as innovative mobile data services based on GPRS, UMTS and LTE technologies with its product brand O2as well as several secondary and partner brands. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers fixed line products such as DSL telephony for private customers and innovative IP telephony and networking solutions for business customers. The offer is topped off with modern high-speed internet products. With a total of 48.3 million customer lines (as of 31 March 2016), the company is one of the three leading integrated telecommunications providers in Germany. In the mobile segment alone, Telefónica Deutschland is responsible for 43.0 million lines – making it the German market leader. In the 2015 financial year, the company generated revenue of 7.89 billion euros. Telefónica Deutschland is part of the Spanish telecommunications group Telefónica S.A. with its headquarters in Madrid. With a presence in 21 countries and a customer base of 322 million lines, the Telefónica Group is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world.
South Pole Group began as a project-driven company focused on developing and selling high-quality carbon credits. Today, it is the world's leading provider of climate solutions, helping public and private sector organisations develop climate proven policies and strategies. Areas of expertise cover every key sustainability-related area of climate change, including but not limited to: forests & land use, water, sustainable cities & buildings, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency. For more information, visit www.thesouthpolegroup.com or follow the company @southpolegroup.