CAN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE BE THE SOLUTION TOWERCOS HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR?
Henry Ford is famous for having once said “If I had have asked the customer what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse”.
While many existing RMS and site intelligence services focus on the important issue of operational data, no single solution exists for addressing the question, ‘do you really know what’s on your tower?’ If, like most towercos, the answer is 'no' – the logical question that follows is, ‘what is the cost of making decisions based off inaccurate information?
Despite advances in technology, current ‘best practice’ for tower audits continues to rely on manual data collection, site visits and tower climbs. Unsurprisingly, this form of data collection is fraught with inaccuracies and is often double or triple handled. Shockingly, tower portfolios continue to be valued and acquired with as little as 5% of the total portfolio being audited.
SiteSee met with towercos of all sizes from across the globe and asked the question, ‘how can technology be used to improve decision making and streamline site intelligence services?'.
AI and object recognition
SiteSee is a global leader in asset intelligence and site analysis software for cell towers. With the use of precision imagery and LIDAR technology merged with photogrammetry, is able to achieve 3D models of the tower and its surrounding environment. When an experienced UAV operator is utilised, this information can be captured in as 40 minutes. The model itself is built using Structure From Motion (SFM) or Decoupled Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (DSLAM).
Once constructed, the 3D model can then be processed using Artificial Intelligence (AI) with object recognition and classification pipeline. By doing so, SiteSee is able to accurately identify and classify all equipment on the structure including antenna make, model, height, azimuth, bearing and mechanical tilt.
By implementing this technology, the entire tower structure can now be fully audited in a fast, automated and reproducible manner. With many tenants and contractors also wanting access to up to date tower information, this is now a powerful tool for any tower owner to have.
What are the benefits?
This technology offers many benefits to different business units.
1. Decision making: Accurate information about equipment on tower can lead to more accurate revenue accountability and potential increase of leased space.
2. Audit reports: Detailed audit reports of all equipment located on each tower now allows for a clear answer to the question ‘what is on my tower’.
3. Maintenance: Further processing of the model can automatically identify rust and analyse rust changes over time.
4. EME Radhaz: With details of each antenna and location known, preliminary As-Built EME assessments and compliance reports can be generated quickly and accurately.
5. Database alignment: Automatically compare DBOR with the true state of the tower.
Does the industry feel that artificial intelligence has a part to play in improving site intelligence services? Or, is the industry content with manual, paper based data capture processes?
SiteSee is interested in hearing from industry leaders, towercos and MNO's. Specifically, what value do you place on accuracy of information? What other issues could be addressed through similar technology that isn't currently being solved?
SiteSee’s tower visualisation and analysis is currently in development. For all enquiries or to request please email email@example.com.