Ericsson’s Head of Regional Operations, Matt Jones believes the number of towers will reach one million – nearly triple today’s number – as U.S. carriers implement 5G nationwide.
Climbers perform roughly 35,000 site visits a year for general inspections. With 5G that number is skyrocketing. The average visit is collected and recorded by hand. The data collection process for a single tower inspection can take up to 8 hours once the climber has manually input data and created the report.
After field teams perform inspections and deliver reports, operations are left digging through a mess of zip files, USB drives, and various company databases–not only increasing costs for site visits but dulling the effectiveness of what is collected.
The result is piles of spreadsheets collecting dust instead of creating valuable insights. A drone flight for a single tower can gather up to 600 photos – or 5 gigabytes of data.