Why Cell Sites Need Surge Protection
Cellular network providers nationwide are in the process of upgrading equipment in the field to handle the latest 5G speeds. These upgrades not only involve the upgrade of equipment within the existing towers and installations but also placing additional installations into regions where coverage might not have been previously. A seamless network involves the ability for the phone to connect to a nearby installation, then switch to the next as the customer moves through space. With the new 5G technology a user must, in many cases, be closer to the equipment installation than ever before to maintain the signal. This need will position a far more significant amount of equipment into the field than ever at the network provider’s expense. While this equipment will be paid for over time by customers’ monthly payments, significant steps must be taken to protect it as it is in service. Protecting the equipment in the field helps not only to decrease the amount of money that must be spent each quarter by the provider on maintenance but also helps to keep customers happy. If a cellular installation is damaged and goes offline, it will create a spot where a user might not gain the best signal, leading to frustration on the customer’s part and possibly the consideration of a rival competitor.
Lightning strikes to cellular installations are a considerable concern, with lightning striking the tops of equipment groupings or nearby, and creating damage. Due to the physical makeup and positioning of most cell towers and installations, they must be positioned in a way that will provide a clear signal to users on the ground. This means they must be tall, making them prime targets for lightning strikes. The strike to the top damages the equipment positioned there, and makes repair and restoration necessary. But the amount of time and money that it will take to restore that equipment grouping is also influenced by whether the lightning power surge was able to impact equipment throughout the installation. The power surge created by lighting strikes travels along the connectivity cables and wires, overwhelming and damaging equipment far from the strike point. By installing devices specifically designed to thwart the movement of electrical surges and keep them away from equipment, other equipment at the site can be kept from harm. Keeping as much of the equipment on site safe from electrical surge damage keeps the ongoing operation costs lower and the networks functioning to customers’ satisfaction. In addition, by installing surge protection devices along critical pathways at the cell site, customers will sense no disruption of daily activities, and carriers can keep rates from rising too high.
Cell site surge protection is probably one of the most important types of equipment used in the process of cell connectivity that is not directly tasked with connecting customers. Cell site surge protection allows our networks to remain profitable while still providing the latest technology to customers. The best networks not only invest in upgrades to the newest equipment but also in protection.