Small, medium, and large telecom companies depend on constellations of remote, unmanned equipment sites to keep their networks operating. Equipment issues at these remote sites can cause network downtime.
Downtime can result in contract penalties, fines, and damaged client relationships. So, to keep operations up and running, companies seek the most cost-effective way to prevent equipment problems at remote sites.
No matter the size of the network, it's important to keep your network problem-free and without outages.
While the best network monitoring methods differ based on the number of remote sites monitored, certain principles hold true. No matter the size of the network, it's important to keep your network problem-free and without outages.
While lack of maintenance can cause high-dollar issues, most remote telecom sites don't need all that much maintenance. Staffing each site with personnel to monitor, maintain, and repair equipment whenever the network is active - and the network is always active - is wildly cost-prohibitive.
Instead, telecom networks rely on mobile maintenance and repair workers. Workers visit sites built on established preventative maintenance frameworks founded on historical failure data. So long as the past predicts the future, this allows workers to repair or replace any part before it fails, maintaining continuous system uptime.
This doesn't always work, unfortunately. The world is a complex place and can be different tomorrow than yesterday.
Environmental factors like temperature and humidity can affect equipment. Other factors that can negatively influence equipment include dust accumulation, vibration, and flooding.
Defective parts can malfunction. Animals, vandals, and vagrants can potentially gain access to equipment sites for shelter. Without a technician on site, any problems caused by these issues could go unnoticed until the network goes down.
So, without staffing sites, telecom networks need a way to detect any emerging issues with their equipment which require unscheduled maintenance. They do so with remote terminal units (RTUs). These devices have a variety of inputs which can detect pre-failure conditions in equipment. When a concern is noticed, they transmit the information to where it can be acted upon by maintenance personnel.
While the demand for RTUs exists in any telecom network, the rest of a network's maintenance response architecture will depend on the network's size. Small networks are easier to manage directly with maintenance staff, while moderate networks require more organization. Larger networks will require even more centralized organization. Here's an overview of each level:
This Multiple-Tiered Method of managing networks enables strategic coordination between regions for maintenance resources because it:
Network monitoring methods are simple in essence - see something, say something, do something. RTUs see an issue, say something about it to a master station or maintenance manager, then technicians respond to correct the issue.
Small telecom networks can monitor their networks efficiently using direct communication between RTUs and technicians. Larger networks must bundle and sort their maintenance needs at the regional and national levels in order to efficiently dispatch maintenance resources.
The best network monitoring methods for remote sites ensure your networks stay online, eliminating frustrating downtime and costs associated with outages.
The best network monitoring methods for remote sites ensure your networks stay online, eliminating frustrating downtime and costs associated with outages. Telcos can utilize RTUs and master stations as a cost-effective way to prevent equipment problems. Proactively heading off equipment malfunctions at remote sites will enable your operations to experience maximum uptime.
DPS Telecom has been helping small, medium, and large telecom companies monitor their networks for decades. We have the experience and insight to help you find the ideal monitoring solution for your network. To learn more, get a quote today!
Image courtesy Shutterstock