Autonomous Telecom BTS Solution
Evolve has recently been part of the amazing undertaking to develop an IoT solution for the telecommunications industry. Specifically focusing on the optimization, running and maintenance of base-stations and their assets. This was no mean feat,Telecom operators have been struggling to bring profitable Internet of Things (IoT) offerings to market—particularly in regards the enterprise space.
The focus over the last 10 years has primarily been in the machine-to-machine solutions area. Most operators have supplied these solutions to their customers as simple products (such as public luminaries and manufacturing assets) and focused on consuming Capex investment made available by business customers. The result of which has been, more often than not, pilots that could never reach their respective roll-out phases.
Till now using IoT to address the various issues faced by the industry has been almost unheard of, and a end to end solution unattainable but we have successfully designed and implemented a solution and I am proud to share this development with you.
THE STATUS QUO
The current BTS asset base is made up of many different types of technologies and sub systems that enable it to perform its core function, communication for your customer base. To ensure maximum up-time, this asset base requires dedicated internal technical and operational support staff as well as external service providers. Some of the key operational challenges that are experienced:
Over and above the above operational challenges, there are also key data challenges that negatively impact the operational management centers and associated service providers responsible for handling incidents that arise.
These operational and data challenges create inefficiencies that we have solved through the implementation of our solution and the power of all your BTS data can now be leveraged to drive the following high-level benefits:
- Live asset base information
- Through RFID technology and live system monitoring, maintain an accurate Fixed Asset Register
- Asset traceability from cradle to grave
- Eliminate costly audits before maintenance and upgrades
- Operational efficiency
- Intelligent energy management between all sub systems i.e. energy meters, secondary power sources, free cooling etc.
- Automated workflows prevent manual interventions and associated errors
- Predictive maintenance on assets
- Real time asset information prevents unnecessary and costly site visits
- Improved security
- Reduce response times and losses through hyper contextualization of alerts between all security end points
- Predictive heat maps for security force deployment based on real time data
- Pattern recognition algorithms to help identify perpetrators both inside and outside the organisation
THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS
In the development of the Autonomous BTS solution we created a financial modelling tool that helps decision makers quantify the expected financial benefits for all the touch points in the business where efficiencies are derived.
Our specialized consulting team will work with your respective divisional heads to fine tune the assumptions that will ultimately deliver a 5-year financial benefits projection. From our experience, we are more than confident that your business will benefit through a significant Opex reduction as well as informed Capex expenditure saving you hundreds of millions of Rands on an annual basis.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that operators today have begun an Internet of Things journey of their own. From their network base, leading operators are starting to move up the IoT stack by focusing on connecting devices. Device management, secure connectivity, and visualization are all part of that strategy.
Over the past year and in partnership with IoT.nxt we have successfully developed an IoT enabled Autonomous Base Station Solution. Our team have integrated every sub system within the base station through a single agnostic gateway, which not only pulls specified data from all the subsystems but also computes this data at the edge. This means that only relevant data is sent to the cloud for visualization, machine learning and bi-directional control.
You now have a single IoT ecosystem providing you with a holistic overview of your entire asset base pushing out real time analytics at the click of a button, down to the most granular system level within a specific BTS site. Decision makers can now make informed business decisions against budgets and where they should be spent based on real time insights empowered through predictive analytics and machine learning.
USE CASES ADDRESSED
To follow below are a few of the use cases that were addressed and key pain points for network operators that were solved using our IoT solution, this is not all however and the solution is flexible and catered for the specific customer needs and business requirements.
Use Case-1: Maintain a real time fixed asset register per base station
- RFID tagging & real-time system health check monitoring
Use Case-2: Finance department can accurately forecast and manage assets
- Real time insight into entire asset base
- Predictive maintenance on assets
- Real time & aggregated data for all asset supplied & performance, enabling SLA negotiations
Use Case-3: Eliminate unnecessary site audits for upgrades
- Leverage real time asset information from RFID tagged assets and health checks
Use Case-4: Optimize site cooling
- Real time insight into site environmental conditions
- Machine learning on all environmental monitoring points to identify in-efficiencies
- Bi directional control of cooling variables i.e. aircon + extractor fan empowered through Q learning which teaches the base station to run itself as efficiently as possible.
Use Case-5: Enable preventative maintenance
- Real time insight into assets and lifecycle performance
- Data analytics driving preventative maintenance
- Data analytics driving procurement purchasing decisions to ensure maximum savings
LIVE DASHBOARD EXAMPLES
The visualization of this information in a user friendly easy to understand format is essential for the optimization of the solution.Here are some practical examples of the live dashboards that were created for the project. These can also be customized entirely to your specifications to display the information your company needs to see and weed out all of the non essential information.
HOLISTIC SITES OVERVIEW
Gives a high level view of all your base station sites, along with alarms and notifications displayed about the information your business requires, based on a requirements analysis done to pin point your exact needs. This gives your real insight into the pain points and problems you are experiencing, hyper-contextualizing the the severity of the alerts to make them easy to prioritize, track and manage.
SITE SPECIFIC OVERVIEW
Drill down in to a specific base station site, to show more granular information on the status and day to day running of the site, giving a concise view of what equipment is on site in the form of an asset registry. Delivering insight not only to what equipment is operating and allowing for remote actuation, but reporting on asset health and using machine learning to put a predictive maintenance in place. With our system your buying options become proactive and you can make informed business decisions based on the information collected.
By linking all your security devices, you enable your NOC to monitor your sites in real time, giving warnings about unusual activity and triggering alarms and notifications as soon as a n event occurs. This allows faster response times as the security teams can be notified as soon as one or more system is triggered, and also shows you exactly how entry was gained and allows for evidence bags to be created based on the information collected.
Energy being one of the most acute pain points due to the cost of running equipment and the constant theft of fuel, batteries and other equipment can be managed more effectively. With the implementation of our solution, your base station consumption can be monitored, and equipment can be actuated to ensure that your energy usage is kept as low as possible and the site is running at an optimum level.
One of the biggest drain on any energy grid is cooling equipment, and the temperature in a base station needs to be kept within parameters set, for the equipment to run at optimum levels and ensure their longevity. With our free cooling solution in conjunction with machine learning, the temperature internally and externally can be measured through the use of sensors. Based on the environmental information collected the cooling system can be automated to adjust the temperature for variances always keeping the temperature range within parameters. This also ensures that the equipment is not running constantly and controls them to create a free cooling environment.
For further information or to find out how IoT can improve your business click here:
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