Despite some speedbumps laid by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the rollout of 5G wireless service continues across the United States. 5G companies keep adding to the list of cities where various levels of 5G service are available, including the top-level mmWave 5G that requires dense cellular infrastructure to offer the full 5G experience to consumers. Much has been accomplished, but much remains to be done.
The rollout is a group effort. Besides the competing telecoms providing the service, effective deployment involves collaboration with electric utilities and municipalities as well as a multitude of engineering and construction contractors.
While macro cellular towers have been crucial to the deployment so far, mmWave 5G also requires thousands of small cell units to keep the signals strong. Some will be part of small stand-alone structures, but many will be attached to utility or street light poles owned by other entities, each with their own safety concerns and responsibilities to the public. In this dynamic environment, it’s essential to keep all the players on the same page.
The payoffs of effective collaboration that will benefit consumers, municipalities, and companies include:
- Better wireless broadband service with faster upload and download speeds and lower latency;
- More reliable connections, particularly in dense urban environments; and
- A foundation for expanding the Internet of Things (IoT), supporting technologies such as autonomous vehicles, smart home functions, and smart city innovations ranging from traffic flow and public safety improvements to a more efficient electrical grid.
Entrenched methods of doing business tended to create silos within which each company, or in some cases separate departments within a company, operated. But new technologies demand new approaches. To accomplish their deployment objectives as effectively and efficiently as possible, 5G companies and their partners need superior data management and data communication systems.
Good life cycle asset management software can help companies save time in permitting and deployment without compromising safety and the individual priorities of each partner.
Here’s a look at a few ways software can help break down the silos that stifle collaboration.
5G deployment requires accurate, accessible data on poles and existing attachments, but getting the most out of that data can be a challenge without the right tools.
Software that automates business processes and uses dashboards to provide valuable data insights takes busywork off key employees, freeing them to focus on areas where their expertise is needed to make crucial decisions. Let your experts do their jobs and automate the rest (where it makes sense and has the most impact).
The number of small cell installations necessary to fully flesh out 5G networks means a large increase in the number of permitting applications sent to asset owners. Many utilities and municipalities have been experiencing the stress of these heavier workloads for some time now.
As reported by the IEEE Communications Society, a recent report by IDTechEx forecasts that the number of small cell units in use will reach 45 million by 2031. Widespread small cell deployment is essential for IoT and for 5G service to reach its full potential. Automated software keeps the permitting process on track with reminders built into the workflow at each step of the way.
With the number of joint use interactions—and stakeholders—on the rise, clear and consistent communication among partners is a key to avoiding conflict, and enabling real collaboration. A good software platform like Alden One keeps everybody up to speed, both internally and externally, by making data sharing easy. Facilitating smooth collaboration becomes especially important when regulatory time constraints are on the line.
Along with the need to prepare internal reports, the 5G companies and all stakeholders have to file periodic reports with regulatory agencies. One of Alden Systems’ customers told us that preparing reports used to be a major chore that required days of cumbersome data research and organization. After switching to our automated software, the official was able to do the job in a fraction of the time it had taken previously. Multiple search fields also allow for reports to be configured specifically for each individual’s purpose.
5. Customizable Permissions
When a company is dealing with a multitude of contractors and reusing data for a variety of purposes, the ability to set flexible permissions is key. While it’s convenient to have a platform that allows easy sharing of information between partners, all parties must maintain the ability to keep data that needs to remain in-house private. Customizable software can accommodate both needs.
6. The Big Picture
The most important thing automated life cycle asset management software can provide for 5G deployment is to help all the entities involved see and buy into the big picture through improved collaboration, coordination, and communication.
Telecoms and 5G companies will benefit from the increased business and competitive edge that come with delivering broadband service competently, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. Utilities can boost revenues through their involvement and will stand to benefit massively from the improvements in smart-grid technology the IoT will bring. City and county governments certainly will tout the advantages their residents will enjoy by gaining access to faster wireless broadband service. Cities that become smart cities through the IoT will operate more efficiently and offer a higher quality of life.
Here at Alden, we’re proud of our role in helping companies build better communities through better infrastructure. Our business automation software, Alden One, is used by hundreds of clients across much of the country. It offers the advantages that companies need to manage and share their data, meet deadlines, and prepare for what comes next. It helps them be nimble in a more demanding environment. And it’s backed by our friendly and helpful support personnel.
Learn how your business can save time through automation. Book a meeting here.