Climate change has made weather patterns harder to predict, and extreme events like droughts and floods more frequent and severe. In this changing climate, accurate and localised weather information is a vital decision-making tool and crucial to building the resilience of local communities. Existing mobile network infrastructure can be used to provide high-resolution rainfall data using commercial microwave link (CML) data from their mobile backhaul network. This approach radically increases the number of observations available – e.g. 19,000 CMLs vs 50 weather stations in Nigeria – and has been shown to be on par with rain gauge, and outperform, satellite rainfall data.
This GSMA report outlines the opportunity of CML rainfall observation to build the climate resilience of rural populations. It covers current knowledge on the accuracy and coverage of CML rainfall data, the operational steps required to develop CML data services, and the value-add of CML data to climate resilience services.