These days, the competition to build cell towers has never been higher and the wireless carriers are more cost conscious than ever. Perennially, cell tower developers face pricing pressures and must continually build cell towers faster using a finite set of skilled resources.
You have heard of the idiom about being successful by working smarter, instead of harder. To accomplish this, a company needs to spend less time at the tower site building the tower, without expanding staff and increasing costs, according to Jared Haines, program manager for the Integrated Platform Deployment Solution program at CommScope.
Traditionally, site deployment is a linear process, where each work crew has to wait for their turn at the site, beginning with the pouring of the foundation and ending with the attachment of antennas. To reduce the time on site, CommScope can create a parallel build path, where the customer’s contractors install the tower-top equipment at the same time that the OEM is assembling all of the base of the tower equipment back in its plant.
“When both sides are ready, the two paths converge at the tower,” Haines said. “We deliver the platform to the site at the same time the tower work is done, so then their crew attaches to the top of the tower and we attach to the base of the tower, essentially cutting their build time in half.”
The fact that Commscope is not only a manufacturer of components but also integrates those components to produce solutions comes into play. The OEM assembles all the equipment typically at the base of the tower into an integrated platform – the steel platform, cabinets, power plant, surge suppression, integrated load center, coaxial cable, conduit, fiber, generator and batteries.
“We can take a significant amount of the activities that traditionally occur at the site and take the inefficiencies out of them by bringing them into a controlled environment,” Haines said. “We can calculate exact measurements on products, minimizing waste, and leverage the bulk purchasing power of CommScope to drive costs down.
The result is a speedy deployment and simplified installation, while reducing CapEx and OpEx with standardized configurations.
J. Sharpe Smith is senior editor of the AGL eDigest. He joined AGL in 2007 as contributing editor to the magazine and as editor of eDigest email newsletter. He has 27 years of experience writing about industrial communications, paging, cellular, small cells, DAS and towers. Previously, he worked for the Enterprise Wireless Alliance as editor of the Enterprise Wireless Magazine. Before that, he edited the Wireless Journal for CTIA and he began his wireless journalism career with Phillips Publishing, now Access Intelligence.