Simulation Environments

What are Simulation Environments?

Simulation environments allow for evaluating a hypothetical situation digitally before taking it into the real world. There is a wide range of use cases for simulation environments, ranging from researching to making informed decisions for expanding infrastructure. 

A simulation allows for safe and controlled environments without the risks involved with other tests or real-world activities. They are widely used in the field of telecommunications to evaluate modifying, removing equipment, or installing towers.

3D environments are a subcategory of simulation environments that use a three-dimensional space to visualize simulations. These types of simulations are valuable for architecture modeling, infrastructure management, and evaluating tower co-location.

Digital Twin vs. Simulation Environments

There are many similarities between simulation environments and digital twins; however, they are still distinct concepts. Simulation environments create hypothetical scenarios that are usually disconnected from the physical world and other systems, intended for planning, management, or predictive analytics.

Conversely, a digital twin is a real-time virtual replica of a physical asset or system, such as visualizing a telecommunications network. Digital twins strive to mirror real-world environments with 3D models and integrated systems that provide necessary data. 

You don’t have to choose when it comes to digital twin vs simulation; both of these virtual environments are valuable to organizations, but it’s essential to understand how they vary so you can use them appropriately.

How Tower Companies Use Simulation Environments

Simulation environments are extremely valuable for tower companies that manage an expansive infrastructure, which is then used by mobile network operators (MNOs). Tower companies leverage simulation environments to benefit their infrastructure in several ways, such as:

 

  • Co-location planning: Co-location is the practice of making a tower company’s infrastructure available to multiple MNOs. Strategic planning is critical, and simulated environments allow for more effective co-location planning. Engineers can use simulations to optimize space and resources to ensure a high level of service for every MNO.
  • Collaboration and coordination: MNOs may have specific requests or requirements for equipment changes or infrastructure expansions. Using the right software makes it straightforward to share proposed changes so all stakeholders are on the same page.
  • Interference analysis: Simulation environments are highly valuable to understanding possible interference caused by co-location, geographic features, or other structures. A better understanding of possible interference allows engineers to re-evaluate or proceed confidently.
  • Space and load management: Evaluating available physical space with a simulation is crucial to accommodating expansions. Understanding structural load capacity is also critical for adding new co-location equipment to existing assets.
  • Optimizing resource allocation: Using simulations to evaluate different strategies for resource allocation can go far in strategically allocating resources like power, structural capacity, and available space. Playing out different scenarios in simulated environments helps better understand how to allocate resources in live environments.
  • Compliance checks: Any proposed changes, whether adding equipment or building entirely new towers, will likely be subject to regulatory requirements. Simulated environments allow for comprehensive evaluations of compliance standards prior to beginning any new projects.
  • Equipment planning: Tower inspections are a critical process for keeping telecom assets operating optimally. Simulations allow technicians to plan how to inspect multiple towers in a time-effective manner. Additionally, enabling co-location can often require adding new equipment, which can be simulated prior to making any physical changes.
  • Enhanced decision-making: Creating a data-driven approach with simulation environments allows for enhanced decision-making for each of the above elements. Combined, you’ll be able to grow the organization and minimize guesswork strategically.

 

Tower companies and MNOs can use simulated environments to better understand the complexities of co-location, interference, and overall strategic planning. Cell towers can then better meet the needs of multiple providers and customer bases without jeopardizing services.