Digital Twins Help PTI Acquire a Portfolio on Another Continent By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers, Technology Editor

Digital Twins Help PTI Acquire a Portfolio on Another Continent

26 Mar 2024 Written by Sharon

There is an old adage that “seeing is believing.” A U.S.-headquartered global tower company recently used asset digitization technology developed by vHive to “see,” whether it should purchase a tower portfolio that was more than 4,000 miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean.

vHive joined forces with Phoenix Tower International to revolutionize their approach to asset digitization. The journey began during a critical M&A deal where time was of the essence, and the need for accurate tower information was paramount. This initial success laid the foundation for a dynamic and fruitful partnership that expanded across various use cases and departments within PTI.

In 2019, PTI met with representatives of vHive at an industry conference and discussed how asset digitization technology could help them as they developed a substantial presence across the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. After a few trials, vHive was brought in to assist with the potential acquisition of hundreds of towers from a wireless infrastructure company in Ireland.

“Often, tower companies struggle to keep an accurate account of their own portfolio. Imagine the challenge they face when looking to acquire someone else’s portfolio. The information is scarce, and even when they do have access to tower records, they’re typically outdated,” said Ari Levi, Enterprise Account Director at vHive.

To complicate matters, when buying a tower portfolio in another country, obtaining information can be expensive, time consuming and precarious. Because time is limited to conduct preliminary surveys, M&A decision makers often make do with information on a sample of the tower portfolio, according to Levi. The results from that sample assessment are critical to making business decisions.

“Speed of delivery is a major factor here,” Levi said. “The ability to quickly, efficiently, and accurately analyze a substantially larger percent of the tower portfolio in an M&A deal is the only way you can get a better understanding of this portfolio’s condition and price the deal accordingly.”

A crucial part of the vHive offering is software that essentially controls the drones, allowing them to fly autonomously and accurately capture towers’ assets. This simplifies the field operations specialist’s job and guarantees consistent data.

Data captured by the drone is then processed by digital twin software, creating an accurate model of the asset. Because PTI was open to harnessing this technology and adopting new processes, it now has access to autonomous data acquisition, AI-driven Digital Twin, and 3D modeling capabilities. As a result, it can optimize its tower assets with confidence and precision, according to vHive.

The transition to a digital platform was more than a change in PTI’s method of data presentation. It provided a complete shift in how data could be viewed and applied, according to Levi. Leveraging digital twins allowed for a timely and comprehensive assessment of the towers’ condition, existing collocated equipment, and the potential need for optimization of the structures.

“The digital twins gave a bird’s eye view and a nuanced understanding of the existing portfolio as well as a deep analysis of individual assets. All of which were helpful in the decision-making process for acquiring the tower portfolio,” Levi said. “Utilizing vHive’s digital twin software armed the tower company with the information they needed to conduct negotiations and ensure the maintenance needs and future structural capacity were accurately reflected in the negotiations.”

Other teams including legal, maintenance, safety, operations, even sales, used the digital twins to gain a better understanding of what assets would be joining PTI’s portfolio, so they could hit the ground running once the deal closed, according to Levi.

The collaboration between vHive and Phoenix Towers has provided PTI with valuable insights and opportunities. Through comprehensive surveys and analysis, PTI has gained enhanced visibility into its infrastructure, enabling informed decision-making in optimizing space utilization. Leveraging vHive’s advanced data analytics, PTI has identified opportunities to maximize revenue potential and improve tenancy ratios. This collaboration underscores PTI’s commitment to innovation and efficiency in serving its customers and stakeholders.

It goes beyond a singular M&A transaction. According to Levi, recognizing the effectiveness and value of vHive’s solutions has given Phoenix Towers the impetus to aggressively expand the use of the vHive solution, resulting in significant growth in digitized assets over subsequent years.

“Our digital twinning initiatives have yielded an unprecedented surge in the quality of information we’ve gathered. Integrating this data with PTI’s other software platforms, we’re witnessing transformative benefits across every facet of our operations including in our network operations center. This initiative stands as a cornerstone in our overarching strategy to comprehensively digitize information throughout our organization,” said Shylesh Moras, SVP of Operations at Phoenix Tower International.

The partnership between vHive and Phoenix Tower International has ushered in a new era of tower asset digitization. PTI has implemented vHive’s solution as a cross-functional tool. PTI says, as a result, it has embraced data-driven decision-making, optimized revenue streams, ensured legal compliance, and enhanced operational efficiency.

“Phoenix Tower International continues to be positioned at the forefront of technological advancement in the tower industry, driving exponential growth and securing a prosperous future for their global operations,” according to Levi.

For more information or to contact vHive, visit https://www.vhive.ai, or email them at info@vhive.ai.
For more information about Phoenix Tower International, visit https://www.phoenixintnl.com/.

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