Earlier this month, Optelos announced a new technology integration with OpenTower iQ, which the former says will enable “wireless carriers and tower owners to digitally transform and streamline cell tower inspections through a unique combination of visual data management, workflow automation, and AI-powered analytics.” Optelos, based in Austin, Texas, provides a software solution for managing and analyzing drone data derived from infrastructure inspections. OpenTower iQ, meanwhile, is a digital twin solution for telecom towers owned by Bentley Systems.
With this integration, telecom owners will now have the ability to seamlessly take advantage of both platforms to provide a full-lifecycle solution for managing cell tower data. Using drones to inspect these kinds of assets is becoming more and more commonplace, as is the usage of digital twins derived from this data as well as other real-time data sources, and the process of inspections and general management can now be streamlined within a single integration.
In a press statement, Optelos CEO David Tran said, “The combined power of Optelos and OpenTower allows telecom companies to seamlessly leverage their valuable cell tower data into automated construction drawing creation, mount analysis, and other critical workflows to deliver accurate, actionable asset insights."
The Optelos platform manages drone data, as well as RF design specifications, construction drawings, and asset inventory, allowing all of it to be geolocated to each cell site. Taking all of that data together, the platform creates a single database for all of the data as well as an ability to create immersive 3D representations of the asset. Data is presented in their visual data management system, intuitively organizing the large amounts of data in a searchable format that can be organized however it makes sense by the user. Furthermore, they create easy and secure ways to share the data, enhancing crucial collaboration between stakeholders on a given project.
OpenTower iQ is described on their website as a “single view of truth for all data utilized for the efficient operation of cell tower infrastructure.” More specifically, it is a digital twin creator for these assets, using a solution that leverages AI and machine learning to streamline workflows across a tower lifecycle. They note that the automated workflows include the generation of models, “4D visualization” which allows for fly-throughs and walk-ins within the model to allow for virtual inspections, automated defect detection, generation of pre-construction documentation, and more.
Demand for functioning and reliable cell service throughout the world is only going to grow in the coming years, especially as 5G service continues to transform, to say nothing of future generations. While it’s something that, at this point, many people take for granted, there is a lot of work that goes into making sure the towers are working and well-maintained. Traditionally, these inspections were cumbersome, but being able to use drones and other reality capture methods with reliable software has made the work easier, even if challenges still exist.
This integration between Optelos and OpenTower iQ is representative of shifts in the industry, with a recognition of this importance. Being able to easily manage the huge swaths of data needed for these workflows, and applying AI throughout the process to increase efficiency, will go a long way towards ensuring the assets continue to run smoothly and people’s connection to the rest of the world, be it for professional or personal reasons, remain as reliable as possible.
"Effective data management is critical to digitally transforming cell tower inspections. We're excited to seamlessly enable Optelos users to harness the power of digital twin models through automated asset detection, mount analysis, and construction drawing creation delivered by OpenTower iQ. This integration enables further workflow digitization for any wireless carrier or tower owner." said Apurba Tribedi, Senior Director of Bentley Tower Products.