Technology has transformed the way this world communicates. It is revolutionizing the telecom industry which is driven by rapid expansion and developments in smartphones and internet. New services are invented and promoted and new geographic areas are bagged by the telecom companies very frequently. Rapidly expanding networks require more operational expenditure and give rise to security threats. This is so complex that it becomes difficult for telecom companies to manage towers efficiently. Poor maintenance of assets, security breaches and pilferage adds to the complexity. With a continuous increase in the number of telecom users, it becomes necessary to improve services and customer experiences.
The advent of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) has given us the capability to innovate solutions that can help service providers to ensure reliable network performance and manage the rising customer expectations. Companies have huge amounts of data that they have collected over the years from their enormous customer base which serves as the base of a telecom site monitoring system.
AI and IoT enable telecom companies to analyze such a massive amount of data and derive useful insights. These insights help them to deliver superior customer experiences, develop operations, and grow revenue through innovative products and services.
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Let’s take a look at some benefits of having a cell tower monitoring solution:
Asset handling and monitoring
Tower managers have to frequently monitor infrastructure data like energy parameters, battery life, alarms, fuel usage and temperature of the tower site on a regular basis. Glitches like cyber security, damage or intrusion can affect the entire grid critically.
Along with major telecommunication equipment, a remote cell tower site also includes supporting equipment to function properly like a generator for power backup, energy meters, UPS, lights, air conditioners and other major assets. It is very important to monitor their operational efficiency to handle the consequences in case any equipment is about to fail. IoT sensors monitor the entire asset infrastructure minutely. This intense visibility is essential for tracking and maintaining assets.
Security and access control
Telecom tower sites that are located in remote areas are usually left unattended. Fuel and expensive telecom equipment on these sites are always susceptible to theft and fiddling. With a remote tower management system, you get centralized security supervision to access, control and protect the sites from such threats. Activities happening in and around the telecom tower are also recorded for any future requirement. The solution not only secures the equipment but also tracks the usage of consumable items like batteries and fuel and sends timely alerts when it needs a refill which helps in avoiding downtime and losses.
IoT-enabled cell tower monitoring also includes a video monitoring system and it is customized to record important events. Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) analyzes live videos recordings and identifies anomalies with the help of deep learning technologies and algorithms. It further sends alerts to the managers in real-time so that they can take preventive measures to avoid any probable disaster from taking place. This is easy to manage as IVA automatically converts raw video into searchable, structured data and flags suspicious activities saving managers from the pain of sifting through the entire recordings.
Continuous monitoring of active infrastructures like energy consumption, battery charging, cooling system, and overall asset visibility is essential for smooth functioning of cell towers. A cell tower monitoring solution empowered with AI and IoT provides valuable insights on energy efficiency and helps you to cut down on unnecessary usage.
Enhancing operational efficiency
Infrastructure holds a substantial amount of operational costs for telecom companies. A cell tower monitoring system plays an important role in monitoring and managing the infrastructure efficiently. This becomes more important when the cell tower is located at a remote site since it is not possible to access it regularly. By using IoT applications, you can monitor the performance of every single tower and generate data. This will help you in real-time monitoring, reporting, and maintenance of the towers. And your engineers can analyze the performance of assets with the help of connected sensors and big data analytics to prevent probable future breakdowns.
Protection from environmental disasters
IoT helps in the detection of environmental conditions that can cause damage to the cell tower like a flood, storm, fire, smoke, etc. The monitoring system sends an alert in case it senses any such condition and helps you to take preventive measures. It can even be customized to shut down the system to avoid damage in the event of natural calamities.
AI-driven predictive maintenance helps you to improve services by utilizing data and forecast future results via machine learning algorithms based on the analysis of old data. Hence you can make use of data-driven valuable insights to monitor equipment, predict failure and fix problems beforehand in communications hardware like cell towers, power lines, data center servers, etc. It prevents assets from damage, saves them from downtime and cuts down repair costs as well.
The final say
An IoT-enabled cell tower monitoring environment would comprise of sensors throughout the entire asset. It will integrate data intelligence from multiple sources and process the data to provide a big picture in the form of useful insights. Such actionable insights will have a direct impact on the bottom line. Application of AI helps communications service providers to manage, monitor and ensure the security of a cell tower. It helps you in optimizing network performance and reliability, predictive maintenance and robotic process automation. AI impacts the telecom industry by improving the customer experience and enhancing overall enterprise value. With more and more availability of big data tools and applications, AI is going to grow substantially in this realm.