Street cabinets are shrouds that protect active or passive equipment from damage. Equipment that is necessary to operate in the field is subject to many different types of dangers that can result in damage. As a result, it is essential to put up a barrier between that operating equipment and those destructive forces. In the past, street cabinets were simple metal boxes that protected the equipment from rodent infestation and vandalism. Still, as more potentially damaging influences have availed themselves at the same time as equipment becoming more expensive, the need for street cabinets to perform extra duties has arisen. Today, they must protect equipment from moisture encroachment, operate as climate control elements and provide surge protection. As businesses position more expensive equipment in the field to provide service to their customers, the need to keep the operational budgets within reason becomes critical. Millions in investments will be made to support companies like telecom providers relevant in a hyper-competitive landscape. For customers to be satisfied, companies must offer the latest 5G speeds and technology, but this service must be provided at a price that is not outside the customer’s ability to pay. Initial investments into equipment must be protected at all costs to gain as much operational time from these devices as possible, thus reducing the repair and maintenance necessary over time. By keeping these repair budgets in check, the company can operate on a model that predicts the rollout of new equipment while protecting the equipment that has already been rolled out. This delicate balancing act is necessary to stay in business when each customer is always ready to switch to a better option of carrier, one that is cheaper or provides better service. The best way for companies like this to achieve this goal is by predicting what will be necessary in the future as far as upgrades to the existing equipment and keeping the maintenance within a tight budget. Factor in unpredictable events like adverse weather such as lightning strikes, and we realize very quickly the importance of well-made equipment shrouds and street or pole-mounted cabinets.
Street cabinets are not just metal boxes that protect equipment; they also operate as an integral part of the system that keeps the equipment functioning. For example, many street cabinets now have heating and cooling built in to compensate for climate change and weather that is becoming increasingly more extreme. In addition, they need to have surge protection built in that will thwart the power surges that lightning strikes cause. Through these integrations and being built in a modular way that allows for future expansion, companies can protect their existing equipment and maintain the original housings when additional devices must be rolled out. The street cabinet is now a high-tech device.