Checklist for tower companies: coming out of the lockdown operationally stronger

ABLOY Africa’s solution manager, Davin Smyth took part in the Critical Connection II panel discussion “Towerco perspective: Coming out of the lockdown operationally stronger” on May 26-27. In the session, tower industry leaders shared the enhanced tools and processes put in place to better manage their networks and businesses during lockdown. Here is Smyth’s intake from the virtual meeting on what can be learned from the lockdown with regard to operational efficiency and a checklist for the adoption of new access control technology. 

Rethinking the planning and execution of site visits to base stations

In normal day-to-day life, Towerco’s employees and subcontractors may need to travel to their worksites and spend a lot of their time on the road. In times when face-to-face key handling is not an option, security and operations managers need to rethink their process for vital site visits to keep the world connected. Digital locking and access control solutions are the answer to make a plan for the course of necessary maintenance activity.

When key handling is not an option – remote access control is the solution

Remote access control enables simple access provision with digital credentials through software and a mobile app – whether a tower company has a keyless or key-based solution, access rights need to be updated remotely in times like these. In terms of global telecom markets and security and access control, there has been an increased need for keys in telecom operations – each subcontractor needs their own electronic key (without collecting one from the head office, which is not recommended for safety reasons).

Whether you are considering an electromechanical or keyless solution to restrict access to your sites, both of them make access control very simple and secure at the same time. When different stakeholders visit your sites, we know that with a digital locking solution, an audit trail is always available. The advantage of connecting online - and of having various online platforms – is that it does make things easier and keep them moving forward during exceptional times and most importantly – increase transparency in your daily operations.

SaaS makes it easier for your telecom operations

However, many of the software-based access control solutions have the option Software as a Service (SaaS) available. This means that there is no need to monitor or contribute an internal team to manage installation or software updates on a daily basis. Therefore, it eases up the workload for your organisation and leaves resources to make sure that the world stays connected.

Integrations of data platforms in the telecom industry

Technology and different platforms allow us to monitor businesses, working sites and operations remotely, which provide flexibility in the market. The current pandemic has shown that Towerco is in a vital position to make sure critical processes are running in a safe and secure manner. Integration and SOPs can assist the process for greater ease in access control.

Increased operational efficiency in critical processes

Synergy through the whole operational system definitely increases with an integrated platform or products, which can form part of the ecosystem. You configure access by creating a collection of rules that define which inbound connections reach which services, simple as that. Eventually, you’ll decrease manual work and increase operational efficiency without compromising security.

From Towerco’s perspective, there is a need to add value for customers in this time of need, for example, workforce management application, or integration into Information Technology Service Management platforms to allow the automation processes to occur. All of these options bring a nice, agile approach to both tower companies and MNOs at the end of the day.

All data gathered into one visual user interface

From the data perspective, during this current pandemic period or during any other future events, integration comes in to help us manage the situation easily and normally.  With such a large amount of data, we have to streamline it and we have to consider those alerts, as they will affect operation in a critical manner. In the best case, the user interface includes all the needed data and reporting tools to provide the best insight and information.

We recently launched our ABLOY BEAT, a keyless credential solution. ABLOY BEAT allows the access process to be seamless and effortless with the ABLOY OS visual interface for access rights managers and the BEAT mobile app for the end user. In addition to the keyless access feature, one important component is the capability to integrate, which plays a big role in process automation.

Towerco’s checklist for adoption of new access control technology

What can be learned from the lockdown and result in futureproof access control solutions that guarantee enough resiliency now and in the future? Here briefly is what to take into account with digital access control solutions:

  • Policies
    Knowing how your operations’ site security is governed and the way your operations manage it, is essential. This helps you set the right goals and move in the right direction.

  • Standards
    What are your industry standards that will meet your security and safety compliance policies? Each region and company have their own standards, so you need to be fully aware of this before planning ahead. Make sure that the new system is flexible enough to adjust to your unique needs.

  • Processes
    Define your processes to create adherence to your tower security and safety compliance requirements. With clearly defined ownership, roles and responsibilities, you will be able to define and implement the right plan.

  • Technology
    Towerco operations have a vast amount of technology that needs to be integrated with digital security solutions. Having a good idea about what your existing capacity and capability are for integration is vital in choosing a partner with the compatible digital solution and cloud-based setup that suits your business.


View the Critical Connection II panel discussion “Towerco perspective: Coming out of the lockdown operationally stronger” on-demand in Capacity Media’s Resource Centre.

Abloy is a Gold Sponsor for Meetup Americas Borderless 2020 by TowerXChange. Join us on 30 - 31 July!