Cell tower in rural location

Efficiency in the Telecoms Industry is Crucial

One of the biggest frustrations for telecoms providers is managing the hundreds of unmanned sites that they have spread in remote locations across the UK. These business-critical sites may be unmanned but they are vitally important because they house antenna towers that help make their telecoms service possible. Downtime from these sites isn’t an option, as a business the telecoms industry relies on reliability.

The options of how to manage these sites are also limited, either they can run backup generators constantly (which is not only costly but carbon polluting) or they could send engineers regularly to check if systems are running correctly (but this too is expensive and inefficient and may not catch all downtime problems).

This is where smart technology and remote management in the form of IoT is important.
Taking on the job of always being there keeping a virtual eye on the site 24/7 but also being able to predict faults before they occur and undertake maintenance when required without costly call-outs and downtime.

The most important benefits of IoT for unmanned sites include:

  • The opportunity to alert on performance and operations issues instantly, preventing the scenario of coverage going down for local residents and businesses thereby saving the telecoms provider from costly downtime.
  • A reduction in planned maintenance with fewer site visits. IoT offers predictive maintenance from identifying operation and performance against deterioration of systems. It can proactively solve faults before they occur.
  • Through digital twin platforms, the graphical interface means you are not just looking at rows of data or reports – you are seeing, in real-time, a digital replica of your real-life setup. The building, the systems and their locations within the building are all depicted in digital format. The data from the IoT sensors brings the digital twin to life as you see how the equipment is operating in real-time and historic insights on equipment operations and performance.
  • Faults are identified immediately and often rectified remotely. Systems can be shut down so as to avoid unnecessary knock-on costs in advance of an engineer making the visit to site to fix.
  • Power is also critical to unmanned sites, a power cut or an unintentional drop in voltage can occur and go unnoticed until all the systems within stop working. Knowing the cause of the power cut can also provide evidence for insurance purposes. What caused the power outage and how often does it occur, what is the likelihood and cost to the business of more power outages? Should battery backup or generator sets be used? IoT systems can be programmed to alert and instantly kick start a power outage.

The implementation of IoT in the telecoms space particularly for remote locations offers many benefits - from asset management to remote monitoring as well as remote fault diagnostics and remote maintenance. Identification of faults before they occur which ensures business continuity for the client and on a site-by-site basis.

IoT in effect becomes your eyes and ears at an unmanned site. IoT is always looking and always listening to ensure that the systems and assets within the unmanned sites are operating effectively and efficiently.


For more information or to find out how the team at Shields Energy can help you, please call us on +44 345 241 2889 or email info@shields.energy.

If you are looking to save energy, reduce reactive maintenance and better manage your entire estate please contact us.

Get in touch