At TowerXchange, PowerX Technology, an AI platform which optimises tower infrastructure performance; and Megmar International, the telecoms infrastructure solutions provider, announced the first stage roll-out of breakthrough technology for telecom tower operators.
The solution promises to lower costs and greenhouse emissions from cell towers in rural Angola. It is an innovation that takes the industry forward in two technical leaps; firstly, by unlocking data intelligence to redefine remote monitoring, site operations and maintenance for entire cell tower networks and its equipment and then by using AI to drive autonomous continuous site-level improvement at scale.
Megmar’s deployment of PowerX will enable the local tower company’s Network Operations Centre [NOC] to see at-a-glance sites where resilience is at risk or which sites are running inefficiently, something they would otherwise be unable to do. The system also learns from past usage behaviour and even live weather reporting to automatically adjust load balancing and power usage to optimise performance with no manual interventions.
For tower operators, this means they will no longer need to estimate when a component is nearing its end of life, is malfunctioning or if power reserves are running short. Instead, they will be able to engage in real-time with detailed operational information and dispatch engineers to solve problems only when they are needed and with the right equipment to hand.
Importantly, from energy use and cost per HWH, to managing the load on individual sites, the PowerX AI software deployment in Megmar tower cabinets will relay back to the NOC exactly how individual sites are running and take in a range of data streams to autonomously optimise site behaviour to meet market needs and manage costs.
“Megmar’s expert local market knowledge, energy and openness enabled us to work closely together to calibrate the PowerX AI,” said Justin Head, CEO at PowerX. “Together, we have built a solution to meet its clients’ financial and environmental objectives in a way that no other solution could. We are now managing the load and energy requirements of the tower site without human interaction, in real time – it’s a radical new way of doing things.”
“Managing and maintaining cell towers in Africa is a complex and unpredictable task,” said Andre Herbst, CEO of Megmar. “When things go wrong on a site, which they eventually will, an engineer must often travel far to remote locations over rugged terrain in burning heat. Properly diagnosing the problem can often only be done on-site, so the engineer might not even have all the right kit in their truck.
“PowerX changes the game completely. It not only increases cost predictability for CFOs and reduces greenhouse gas outputs to help firms meet their environmental commitments, but the information it produces saves countless man hours and increases the length of life of expensive tower components.”
One aspect of predictive maintenance is that it makes planning operational site visits much more predictable and cost-effective, while significantly reducing downtime by addressing problems before they become catastrophic.
“Megmar puts towers up in some of the most rural locations in Africa. We see first-hand that these towers lift local communities’ aspirations,” said Herbst. “If a tower goes down, especially if it is for an extended period, the impact on local education, business and prosperity can be profound. By reducing downtime and costs, the PowerX solution is a lifeblood for these communities, keeping them connected to the world. I admit I was sceptical when I first heard about it, but I would now be shocked if this does not become the norm in the industry over the next five to 10 years.”Click below to share this article