The telecommunications sector has been experiencing monumental shifts over the past several years. With the ongoing need to maximize revenue, tower owners are faced with the question: How do you maximize the revenue on towers when the quality of the asset inventory data is uncertain or incomplete?

But solutions are available. Telecommunications service providers can maximize the return on investment (ROI) for tower assets by embracing technology and modernizing asset detection.

Telecom Industry Evolution and Transformations

Three major factors combine to drive rapid transformation in the telecom industry.

The first is the consolidation of smaller to larger operators resulting in fewer players in the market. This leads to achieving economies of scale, reducing operating costs, and investing in new technologies.

Next, there is the demand for faster and more reliable connectivity with data-intensive applications like video, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices. The next-generation wireless technology with 5G enables faster data transfer speeds, greater capacity, and lower latency to support these data-intensive devices.

The third factor is federal programs that help to expand broadband connections and accelerate innovation. Initiatives like the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) drive investments toward building and upgrading broadband services. This factor, in particular, is increasing the need to understand how towers are utilized and where space is available for new services.

The telecom industry will continue to evolve. As it does, digital automation is the key to detecting assets, analyzing the quality of data, and speeding up workflows to maximize revenue. With industry transformation, digitization is a primary way to achieve the flexibility and speed needed for growth.

Verifying and Maintaining Tower Asset Inventories

For cell tower owners and operators, there are several key considerations for verifying and maintaining tower asset inventories.

  • Increasing Revenue from Assets: Tower owners need to constantly look for ways to increase revenue from their assets. Having accurate and up-to-date inventory data can reduce operating costs and improve return on investment.
  • Asset Data Requirements: Asset data requirements are essential and ensure all relevant information, such as tower location, height, structure type, and antenna specifications, are captured and stored in a comprehensive database.
  • Decreasing Cost of Assessing Tower Cost/Capacity: Traditional methods, such as site visits and manual data entry, can be time-consuming and expensive, making it difficult to maintain accurate inventory data. Cell tower infrastructure software can provide a more efficient and cost-effective way to collect and analyze inventory data.
  • Key Workflow Requirements: To ensure that the software meets the key workflow requirements, it needs to incorporate the following:
    • Space availability reporting: Owners must assess the available space on a tower for new tenants or equipment.
    • As-built confirmation: Inventory data needs to accurately reflect the current state of the tower and identify under and overutilization by its tenants.
    • Engineering structural analysis: It’s critical for the tower to support the weight of any new equipment or tenants.

Making Automated Tower Maintenance Possible

To efficiently operate a cell tower infrastructure, data must be in one location. OpenTower iQ is an automated solution using digital twins to provide an easy-to-access single source of truth.

This includes a complete view and history of a tower from design to analysis and maintenance workflows, empowering teams to make data-driven decisions with up-to-date analytics.

OpenTower iQ also makes site inspections possible from anywhere through a digital twin visualizer. With the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), photorealistic measurement tools can fully inspect every aspect of a tower with vivid structural details. Potential defects can be automatically detected to minimize or eliminate manual workflows. Utilizing a digital twin for telecom tower maintenance enables a connected, continuous, and digitized lifecycle.

Automating Cell Tower Asset Detection

Asset inventory and detection can be a heavy burden for tower owners and operators. OpenTower iQ automates the entire process of detection and identification.

With one click, this solution automatically detects all mounts. A robust equipment library of manufacturer specs enables OpenTower iQ to detect all installed equipment like antennas and Remote Radio Units (RRUs). Additionally, critical data can be extracted, such as azimuth, centerline, and mechanical tilt. For further structural analysis, tower bracing and feedlines are also detected with OpenTower iQ.

This holds true for all tower structures, including lattice, monopole, self-supported, and guyed. The end result? Enormous amounts of time are saved through digital and automatic tower component detection.

Asset Evaluation and Assessments

Digitizing the tower data enables it to be visualized and virtually inspected. This takes the guesswork out of planning for future maintenance and upgrade needs and can even eliminate errors and delays, speeding up the tower lifecycle process.

  • Asset identification: Automated asset detection efficiently identifies data in real time for more accurate results.
  • Mount and equipment mapping: A digital twin can run structural analysis instantly to ensure the integrity of the equipment, such as mount and tower mapping and rust detection.
  • Space availability: Automate reports and equipment information.
  • Bracing mapping: Tower bracing is digitally detected with a detailed inventory for further structural inspection and analysis.
  • General measurements: Critical data can be extracted, such as centerline, azimuth, and mechanical tilt.

Maximize Tower Asset ROI and Modernize Infrastructure

Today, tower owners must remain adaptable and agile. To do that, they need to embrace technologies such as automated analytics and tower infrastructure software from OpenTower iQ. With such solutions, teams can optimize network deployment time, cut costs by reducing onsite visits, and maximize revenue.

Speak with a communication tower expert today and see how OpenTower iQ can accelerate the modernization of your tower infrastructure, or request a demo to learn more.