How Building Digital Twins of Your Cell Towers Opens Up New Revenue Opportunities

How Building Digital Twins of Your Cell Towers Opens Up New Revenue Opportunities

19 Jul 2023 Written by vhive_hadar

For TowerCos, outdated systems often lead to a lack of accurate information about portfolio assets. Managers are forced to rely upon old and inaccessible information, scrolling through long spreadsheets to identify tenants for billing or find space for new equipment. Invoicing and maintenance work orders may be based on out-of-date surveys, leading to missed revenue opportunities and customer confusion.

How Building Digital Twins of Your Cell Towers Opens Up New Revenue Opportunities

Bad field data is compounded with mergers and acquisitions. M&A activity frequently requires a leap of faith: outdated systems on the sell side and limited audits on the buy side mean that despite the best of intentions, both parties are guessing about what exists in the field. Buyers inherit old systems of inaccurate records and merge them into their own Asset Management Systems (AMS).

Digitization and better systems of telecom tower monitoring have changed TowerCo operations for the better. A digital twin of a tower bridges the gap between the physical and digital world, providing an accurate single source of truth. Unlike photographs, videos or .pdfs, asset data processed into digital twins can be leveraged for AI-powered analysis, providing deep business insights and eliminating manual work.

A digital twin solution that integrates with your asset management system and offers robust analytics and reporting does more than just accurately survey field assets and provide inspection data. Digital twin platforms are a critical piece of cell tower management programs, smoothing workflows and opening new revenue streams.

Revenue assurance and M&A surveys are two clear examples of the most prominent use cases driving ROI for TowerCos.

Revenue Assurance

Spreadsheets are still one of the most common tools in billing for the tower industry. These programs are not only unwieldy but rely upon the data entered, which is often incorrect. Digital twins not only eliminate the need for manual data entry and spreadsheet sorting for invoicing, but also identify new revenue opportunities that would otherwise be hidden behind those spreadsheet numbers.

Here’s how.

Computer vision algorithms such as vHive’s, automatically identify equipment on digital twins of cell towers, providing information about type, position, tenant and count in each site, per level. Automatic comparison with subsequent surveys recognizes any changes, such as the addition or removal of equipment. But the cream of the crop is the identification of empty mounts as well as free vertical space on the tower, allowing sales teams to capture revenue opportunities quickly and optimize portfolio assets.

The greater accuracy provided by digital twins and AI-powered analysis saves work and minimizes lost revenue from unbilled inventory, billed inventory installed in the wrong location, unrecognized free space, or installed equipment that doesn’t match the drawings. Our customers have found that eliminating the discrepancy between what is in the system and what is in the field can have a major impact on the bottom line, and their customer relationships.

Mergers and Acquisitions

M&A activity is at unprecedented levels in the tower industry, and due diligence is a necessary part of the process. Field visits can be expensive and time consuming, and the rapid pace of deals means that companies often don’t have the time or the resources to perform a full portfolio survey. Instead, companies rely upon data given to them by the seller combined with a narrow sampling set of field surveys.

That’s why digitization of field assets is a game changer for M&A deals. Site audits powered by autonomous drone technology can be performed more quickly and effectively than traditional field visits, so buyers can obtain fast, high-quality, and accurate data from many more of the assets they plan to purchase. In addition to the visual understanding that digital twins provide, analytical site audit reports provide insights that lower risk and support better negotiations.

Where vHive’s Digital Twin Solution Comes In

Digitization is revolutionizing the tower industry, as companies leverage the technology to increase revenue, streamline operations, and improve business decisions. But the industry is full of niche solutions for every stage in the tower value chain, and companies are struggling to focus on which technology to deploy in order to fully digitize their portfolio in the most efficient and cost-effective way. That’s where vHive’s digital twin platform comes in, being the only enterprise grade, end-to-end platform on the market: from the field visit to data processing, analysis and business insights, to a visualization environment that enables the comparison of “as built” to “as planned” and integration with existing AMS.

The vHive platform starts with data capture. Using commercial off the shelf drones, vHive’s algorithms ensure a perfect flight and consistent, accurate data every time, regardless of pilot, complexity or location.

Our cloud-based SaaS solution processes the data into digital twins, to provide a single source of truth throughout the organization. vHive’s robust AI-powered analytics and reporting then provides critical insights to decision makers, from the portfolio level views to equipment inventories, ultimately exposing lost or hidden revenue opportunities on the tower, otherwise impossible to detect. With vHive’s Partner API, you can ensure that your digital data can be leveraged in your existing systems to provide maximum benefit, and use vHive’s generated data for anything from site surveys, inspections, and billing, to new site development.


Contact vHive today to request a demo or speak to one of our experts and see how the vHive digital twin platform can open new revenue opportunities for your company.

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