What Is Telecom Site Automation?
Telecom Site Automation is a logical and modern extension of what was once referred to by telecom network operators as remote site management, remote monitoring systems (RMS), or simply “site alarming”.
Not too many years ago there was a general class of products referred to as a remote terminal unit (RTU). These units were primarily used to monitor contact closures from other pieces of equipment like microwave radios or DC rectifiers. Over time these devices became more IP-network oriented as the equipment that the RTU’s monitored also began to become more IP-based.
The Asentria SiteBoss product line is to an RTU as a smart phone is to a flip phone. The SiteBoss is based on an underlying Linux operating system and is significantly more powerful than earlier RTU units. Further, as the drive to find efficiencies in management of remote sites has grown, the SiteBoss has evolved a set of functions, tools and capabilities which reduce the burden of site management and increase the number of sites which a given tech can manage. This collection of capabilities defines a new class of product, a Telecom Site Automation Controller.
Once one of our devices is interfaced to various sub-systems, it is possible to have the SiteBoss autonomously make decisions at a site, or to push commands to an entire network of SiteBoss units. One example would be controlling the start/stop of a generator. Once you can control the start/stop of large numbers of generators, you can begin to automate processes to improve the resilience and efficiency of your network. One example would be exercising all the generators in a region where a large-scale weather event like a hurricane is expected. It is possible to exercise large numbers of generators in the days leading up to landfall, to see if any of the generators fail to start, improving resilience. It is also possible to know accurate run-time of generators, allowing you to more efficiently schedule generator maintenance.
We have expanding our review of Telecom Site Automation in an In-Depth Case Study which contains some specific examples of Telecom Site Automation applications which customers have currently employed.