Problem Definition

A typical remote telecom tower site requires operational expenditure to power active and passive assets on the remote cell tower site. The active assets include the base transceiver station that consumes 1kW to 8.5 kW, though 80% of these have power demand of less than 3.5 kW.   Having multiple tenants helps telecom operators to share passive infrastructure operation costs. The passive infrastructure includes the battery banks to supply backup power, diesel generating sets, solar generating panels, air conditioners to cool the shelter for the electronic equipment, and power interface unit. Grid availability has a great influence on the operations and maintenance costs of telecom towers. Sites located in areas of lower grid availability (power supply of 8 hours or less) have higher fuel costs due to extensive use of diesel generators.

Challenge: Providing 99.99% uptime while reducing capital and operating costs

There are two main categories of challenges: efficiency and security.

Efficiency losses happen when maintenance of cell sites is done on fixed intervals and not when it is necessary. If only limited or no information about key parameters regarding the condition of the site are available, companies concerned with the management of those BTS have no foundation to make proper decisions. That causes costs for maintenance personnel as well as extra operational expenses, which incurred because evolving problems have been detected too late. And also a root cause analysis for future problem prevention is missing. This challenges can be summed up to the lack of remote management capabilities of cell sites.

Another area of challenge is security. Theft of fuel and equipment is a big issue, which happens frequently in remote areas. Either unauthorized access to the cell site or even work-related theft takes place very often. Losses due to downtime can be skyrocket in a short period of time. Furthermore, contamination of fuel for the generator or removing site elements considered valuable can lead to the destruction of a whole BTS.