Over 1,000 cell towers in the Philippines to be integrated with AI algorithms, drones

May 23, 2023 - 1:45 PM
PhilTower drone application elevates infrastructure and operational effectiveness, boosts digitalization (Released)

Over 1,000 cell towers are about to be digitized with artificial intelligence (AI) in the Philippines in the future.

This digitization is being accomplished by the partnership of PhilTower Consortium Inc. or PhilTower, a digital infrastructure provider, and SiteSee, an AI solutions provider from Australia.

Using an advanced technology called the digital twin platform, SiteSee is expected to optimize PhilTower’s infrastructure and capture new revenue opportunities faster.

SiteSee’s digital twin platform will also be combined with the field surveys and audit tools of a telecommunications provider called QNSI. This firm is located in the country.

A digital twin is a virtual model or simulation used to reflect a real physical object.

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In a statement, PhilTower said this collaboration is “step by step replacing traditional engineering inspections and enhancing asset management practices.”

The digitalization process has started last December with a total of 1,350 PhilTower cell sites. They were purchased from Globe Telecom three months prior.

The cell towers’ comprehensive site audit services were first integrated with drone-based surveys. These surveys were from QNSI.

SiteSee would then process the drone images from the cell sites into accurate 3D models.

This tech company will thus apply AI algorithms to render “digital twins” of these properties.

In a separate statement, P.T. Pawar, chief operations officer of PhilTower further explained that the drone audit resulted in more efficiency in cell site operations than before.

“The drone audit resulted in operational efficiency in terms of accurate and detailed asset registers, reduced truck rolls and audit time, accelerate loading analysis, ease of co-location process and deployment. We also anticipate the potential saving in future tower preventive maintenance costs.  This strategic partnership is one of our steps towards digitalization and modernization of distributed assets,” Pawar said.

In line with the partnership, David Pash, director of SiteSee, said that the company welcomes the introduction of its technology to the Philippines’ telecom market.

“Our digital platform has been built from the ground up over the last six years to cater to the specific needs of the global TowerCo industry. We now have a global customer base and are excited to be introducing our technology to the Philippines wireless telecom market,” Pash said.

Similarly, Devid Gubiani, CEO of PhilTower, also expressed optimism over the ongoing digitalization of their cell towers through AI.

“These state of art technologies like drones and AI help streamline and accelerate our operations and provide enormous benefits for our customers as it creates transparency and speeds up transactions,” Gubiani said.

“Apart from the advanced technology applied, digitalizing our tower portfolio is a demanding task in terms of logistics and managing large field operations,” he added.