Formatting Mobile Voice Availability Coverage Maps

This Reference Guide describes how to format mobile voice availability coverage maps per BDC requirements and data specifications.

Mobile Voice Availability Coverage Maps refer to maps with polygon GIS data showing the extent of a mobile service provider’s coverage for voice service. 

Facilities-based providers of mobile broadband internet access service and/or voice service must submit data about where they make mobile voice service available.  Providers only need to submit mobile voice coverage maps for areas in which they offer mobile voice coverage.  Mobile providers must submit a single map for voice services, which should include all mobile technologies that the mobile provider has deployed to offer voice services.  This single map must show outdoor stationary mobile voice service, as well as in-vehicle mobile voice service.  

Providers may submit each map in multiple files (e.g., by state or by market) to facilitate generation and submission of the GIS data, so long as the polygons in one file do not overlap with the polygons in another file.   

1) Modeling Mobile Propagation Parameters 

Mobile voice service providers must submit a single coverage map depicting voice service coverage  based on the following propagation model parameters: 

  • Cell Edge Probability: Models must assume a minimum cell edge coverage probability of 90%.  
  • Cell Loading Factor: Models must assume a minimum cell loading factor of at least 50%.  
  • Terrain and Clutter Data: Models must account for terrain and clutter and use terrain and clutter data with a resolution of 100 meters or better.  

2) Modeling Mobile Voice Environments:  

Mobile voice providers must model and submit polygons within one map showing broadband coverage for two different modeled environments: 

  • Broadband availability assuming the receiver – i.e., customer handset – is outdoors and stationery; and  
  • Broadband availability assuming the receiver – i.e., customer handset – is in-vehicle and mobile. 

Coverage modeled for an in-vehicle mobile environment should be entirely contained within the coverage modeled for an outdoor stationary environment.  Thus, coverage polygons should indicate either where the model predicts coverage only for an outdoor stationary environment or where the model predicts coverage for both an outdoor stationary and in-vehicle mobile environment.  

3) Using GIS Data Standards to Create Maps: 

All files must contain valid GIS data in a supported file format (i.e., ESRI Shapefile, ESRI FileGDB, GeoJSON, or GeoPackage). 

  • For ESRI Shapefile or ESRI FileGDB data, GIS data must be submitted as a single Zip archive file. 
  • GIS data must use the unprojected (geographic) WGS84 / EPSG:4326 coordinate reference system. 
  • GIS data must contain well-formed 2D vector polygon data according to the OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) rules. 
  • GIS data must contain only closed, non-overlapping polygons. 
  • Any variation in any of the required fields necessitates the creation of a separate polygon showing the relevant coverage.  In other words, each polygon must have a single value for each of the following fields: technology code ("technology"), minimum download speed ("mindown"), minimum upload speed ("minup"), minimum signal strength ("minsignal"), and modeled environment code ("environmnt"). 

4) Required specifications for the Data Attribute Table: 

Data Attribute Field 

Data Type [Number of characters] 


Description / Notes 


Integer [6]


A unique 6-digit code generated by the FCC that identifies each service provider.  The list of Provider IDs is at

When the entity is a service provider, the values in this field can be null and will be ignored, but the field must be included in the file.




Name of entity or service advertised or offered to consumers. 


Enumerated Integer [1] 


Integer code indicating whether the area is modeled for coverage when the user equipment is in an outdoor stationary environment only or in both in-vehicle mobile and outdoor stationary environments, 

0 – Outdoor stationary only 

1 – In-vehicle mobile and outdoor stationary 


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