Telecom means different things to users and operators. When telecom users think of networks, they think of their phones and other devices, and possibly of the invisible currents providing their service. When they think of something going wrong, they tend to think of the “signal being lost;” which, while it’s true, it’s also far from the entire story.
Telecom operators know that there is a physical reality behind that signal: a vast network of remote stations all filled with incredibly expensive equipment. And when that “signal goes down,” it’s often because something very bad—and quite expensive—happened at one of those remote locations.
Those locations are filled with critical assets that are vital to keeping the operation running. That’s why an effective asset monitoring system is absolutely critical for telecom infrastructure.
Monitoring all your assets can save you downtime. It can also save you the PR and consumer loyalty hit you take when systems are not functioning.
Most of all, it will save you money. An asset monitoring system entails an initial cost but quickly pays for itself by making sure that the things that matter keep working the way they should. It allows you to respond to any problems. It lets you keep the physical part of your operations up and running, so your customers can continually enjoy their service without a second thought.
An Asset Monitoring System To Keep Your Production Running
All telecom companies have many different assets. You have your intellectual property, your patents, your technology, and anything else that is strictly yours.
You also have your people, which are a key asset—whose time and talents need to be protected. Then you have your physical assets in your remote stations. These might not be the most glamorous, but without them everything else is meaningless.
Asset monitoring quite simply means engaging in critical infrastructure protection.
It’s taking care of your physical assets by monitoring them for signs of trouble. It gives you a full look at your system in a way that makes sense for you and your team. How does it work?
How Remote Asset Monitoring Works
Let’s break this down into simple steps. Remote asset monitoring deploys a smart system of sensors and master controls to give you a real-time look at all of your locations and the means to react quickly.
- A system of RTUs is deployed. Remote Telemetry Units are the eyes and ears of your system. They monitor any number of factors (see #2) and can “report” back to the central control system.
- Which events to be monitored are determined. What do you need to watch for? What can go wrong in your remote locations? Everything from signal strength to battery power to security issues to environmental factors can be monitored.
Whatever happens at your unmanned sites should be remotely monitored. If the power is too low or the humidity is too high or a door that shouldn’t be open is open—a signal will be sent.
Master Station and Alerts
A master station will streamline your alerts. If you have multiple locations, a master control unit is vital. A master station collects field data from RTUs and displays this data on one centralized computer screen.
Alerts can be viewed in order of importance (as predetermined by you). You can also get a text about battery concern, allowing you to take action. It can also send an alert to the nearest first responder. Either way, action will be taken.
There are two primary benefits to this:
- You can take action when you need to
- You don’t have to take action when you don’t
Obviously, if something needs to be done, getting it done quicker saves you trouble and saves you money. If there is something that can be deprioritized, or isn’t a huge deal, you can save your human assets time and trouble by not sending them out to some remote location to do routine maintenance that can wait.
Either way, you’re saving time.
What Telecom Assets You Can Protect
Your assets are more than equipment. They are your primary means of production. They aren’t just your products, per se, but they are the things that make the product possible. With an asset monitoring system, you can protect what matters.
- Telecom towers
- Cell towers
- Remote radio heads
- Fiber network
- Microwave radios
- Power systems
That’s just the start. There are a lot of other things that matter, particularly in older systems.
Monitor Legacy Telecom & Videoconferencing Equipment
Some of the older equipment that many telcos still use and require monitoring include legacy voicemail systems, which you might rely on (as ironic as that seems).
There’s also the need for video conferencing equipment and huddle rooms for employees not able to regularly communicate with headquarters.
Basically, all your equipment needs to be monitored, for both discrete and overlapping events. Monitoring everything that matters gives you a clear view of what is happening remotely.
Increase Efficiency With Asset Monitoring Best Practices
Any asset monitoring system has to do three things:
- Save you money
- Increase uptime
- Pay for itself
In order to save money and improve ROI, you will want to follow some of these best practices.
- Do a thorough accounting of your assets. What should be monitored? What matters at your remote locations? And, what information is vital?
- Conduct an inventory of your network capabilities. Do you have a lot of legacy equipment? Are you using a mish-mash of protocols? How will your systems communicate with each other?
- Do a thorough accounting of your accounting. How much can you afford to upgrade? Can you do everything at once? What is your long-term plan? What does it mean to do a piecemeal implementation?
- Find the right equipment. You’ll want a system of RTUs that can monitor in even the toughest conditions, and master stations that can handle legacy equipment and multiple protocols. That way, you don’t have to upgrade all at once, but you can still ensure communication continuity.
- Find a partner who supports telcos that can help with these needs. A partner who understands your needs, who can help you analyze and evaluate, and who makes sure you have complete coverage with the best equipment (without you buying too much) will help you stay on budget, now and in the future.
Considering Your Assets
Keeping things running at your remote telecom stations is about planning and partnering. It’s about evaluation and engagement. It’s about monitoring issues so they don’t turn into major concerns.
Most of all, it’s about considering your assets, and partnering with someone who understands how you think and what you need.
The goal is to make sure that you realize the need for asset monitoring, and your partner is able to provide that critical monitoring, so that all your users keep connected with everything that matters.
DPS Telecom has the experience and expertise to help companies monitor your critical telecom infrastructure. Our technicians can work with you to install RTUs with easy-to-use interfaces for more automatic responses. Reach out and get a quote today!
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