In this age of modern telecommunication, the ability to keep a sustainable and working mobile network is key to assuring that the telecom world continues to turn without a hitch. The world is moving to more advanced technologies like 5G to create even faster and more reliable mobile connections. Yet, with all these advances, and with all the precautions taken to assure the serviceability of these sites, network failures still occur. For the lucky ones, they happen only an average of one to three times a year. For those not so fortunate and with poor cell tower monitoring routine, they can go as high as fifteen incidences annually.
Common Cellphone Network Failures?
The most common cellphone network failures are physical link failures, and network congestion overloads. These are often caused by chip failures caused by faulty air conditioning, board malfunctions, equipment theft, power outages, and faulty transmission equipment.
As many cellphone‘ users know, these network failures can last up to three days, causing major inconvenience on the part of the consumer. They are also responsible for major revenue loss, elevated maintenance costs, and spell dismal service quality.
Telecom networks are made up of thousands of hardware components of all sorts, base stations, servers, routers, modems, switching units, cables, fittings, cooling elements, energy elements, and a lot more. Discovering the main cause of a failure presents an obstacle for technicians because the manner in which these elements operate with each other is not always very clear. This makes using traditional programming solutions very difficult. It inhibits them from linking automatically with a root cause incident management system called a Trouble Ticket (TT) System. A root cause needs to relate to an incident generated on a network element, to another current incident. This produces a child-parent relationship between root elements. The output of this is the “Model-based Root Causes Analysis of BTS Mobile Site Network Outage”.
The three causes of cellphone network failures listed above are very broad and vague. They cover a wide range of possible mishaps. Let’s try getting a bit more specific.
5 Major Causes of Cell Tower Failure
1. Running out of Fuel
In case of commercial power failure, propane tanks are usually employed as back-up energy sources to power these cell
sites. But the careful monitoring of all these tanks, along with all your mission-critical equipment can sometimes be easier said than done. A good solution to this problem may be a floating sensor. This is a device that alerts you that your propane levels are critically low. A floating or Float Level Propane Tank Sensor is a continuous level sensor. It uses magnetic floats that rise and fall as liquid levels change. You may also employ advanced analog sensors. This is an LPG gas level monitor that uses Rochester gauges to monitor LPG tank level sensors. It features both automatic and manual gas tank cycling. Whenever a tank is empty, the valve closes.
2. Running Out of Batteries
A battery plant is another essential in the operation of a mobile network. In case of a power shortage, they kick in and take the place of electricity from power grids. The most preferred ones are those with a very long operating life. Do not drain them completely or it will permanently affect their overall lifespan. Low voltages can damage your equipment. Monitoring the current charge level of your batteries is necessary for the proper maintenance of your cellphone network site. You also need to lessen their operating load in order to prolong their run time.
Having a backup generator, in case your batteries fail, is a prudent way to secure the operation of your cell phone network site. Consider it a backup to your backup.
RTUs or Remote Telemetry Units are microprocessor-based remote devices that report events occurring at a faraway location in cell tower monitoring. They allow you to manage the network more effectively, assuring effective service to your clients and securing your income stream. They are able to remotely control system devices, using relay contacts or protocol-based commands. Without this, an RTU can only collect data and report remote events. RTUs remove the need to physically travel to your cell phone network site to repair any malfunctions that occur.
A Power Distribution Unit is a device that lets you terminate the power to your devices from your central hub or home office. These are useful when you want to lessen the operating load on your batteries. They let you turn off the power from less-essential devices and use them for more mission-critical gear. They perform best when power-cycling your equipment. But they are unable to react to a power loss event automatically. This requires a human technician to manually turn off switches in an interface. There are also no analogs on a PDU to display the remaining charge in your batteries.
3. Equipment Damage
Equipment damage may be one of the root causes of a cell phone network failure. Remote cell phone network sites contain dozens of costly mission-critical gear. At some point, all sites encounter some form of an environmental emergency. Picture what overheating or water damage can do to your site. An unmonitored network is just an outage waiting to happen. With the proper cell tower monitoring gear in place, you’ll always be ready in case a mishap occurs. Below are the four most likely environmental perils that might damage your equipment:
This is the most common headache cell tower monitoring. IT gear is made for temperature-controlled environments. Overheating puts your gear in danger of thermal shutdown or permanent damage. The right cell tower monitoring gear will alert you when it gets too hot, so you can respond accordingly. This can spell the difference between failure and smooth operation.
Too much humidity can cause rust and degradation to your internal components. It can lead to short-circuiting. Very low humidity can also mess up your gear. That’s why it’s imperative to keep your humidity at a perfectly moderate level. An environmental monitoring system that alerts you when your humidity is too high or too low is indispensable in this business.
- Water Damage
Leaking water is another cause of damage at your cellphone network site. Having a water leak monitor can save you a ton of expenses in damaged or rusting gear.
- Air Flow
Walking into your network site can be like stepping into a blast furnace. All those powerful processors crammed into smaller units can produce more heat than you would expect. Cooling down all these components is one of the major obstacles facing operators of cellphone network sites. A system that circulates airflow around your equipment is the solution to this problem. That is why it is important to have airflow sensors monitoring the all-around cooling of your gear.
4. LAN Connection Failure
Aside from hardware malfunctions, Local Area Network connection failures can also mess up the operation of your cellphone network sites. If your gear is attached to a router, and you cannot see what is going on with your LAN, you have no way to be alerted if your LAN is off. Most Remote Telemetry Units or RTUs have only limited capabilities when it comes to cell tower monitoring LAN activity. A standard RTU can only identify when a LAN is in operation. If the local connection is ON, but somewhere inside, a connection is shut down, the standard RTU will still read it as an operating LAN. To solve this, get a dial-up connection for your remotes. A primary and secondary dial-up path will let you see when LAN access is not available. Get an RTU that is LAN-based remote, has an internal 33.6K modem, and can be used as a primary or secondary connection path.
5. Natural Disasters
Natural disasters are also one of the factors that will shut down your remote cellphone network site. The tricky thing about these disasters is that they are unpredictable. Making them difficult to prepare for. The solution to this is to have a viable disaster recovery plan. There are two things to take into account when setting up a plan such as this. One is to analyze the sort of natural disasters that commonly occur around your cellphone network site. The other is the monitoring of your mission-critical equipment.
We have now listed the possible causes that could cause failures in your cellphone network sites. It is imperative that you implement a proper cell tower monitoring system to assure that the operation of your plants runs smoothly, avoiding disruptions in service that will cause you to lose cash flow. That’s why finding the best provider of professional monitoring solutions could be a challenge these days.
AKCP created network-based environmental and tower monitoring solutions. Setting the standards for technical achievement and innovation AKCP remains at the head of the field and in fact, AKCP is the industry standard in the field of SNMP-based monitoring.