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A “Single Source of Truth”: End-to-End Wireless Network Lifecycle Management for Small Cells A White Paper

By Laith Dahiyat Director of Product Management, Siterra Accruent

Adding to this is the complexity of legacy information management systems. network status and vendor performance from a high level. leases. Functional managers and senior management require more granular aspects of the network. And. tower companies and the service providers do the work. But these multiple point solutions don’t feed data into a consolidated view of the network. creating this central system of record. and assets. And this is just the beginning. In just two and a half years. population has accessibility to LTE networks. lease.accruent.S. In turn. Site development teams responsible for the build out of networks and the deployment of new technologies need tools that make it easy to manage the tens of thousands. project. Accruent’s solutions manage Page |2 . carriers. and the significant increase in deployments to meet the growing demands of wireless data. this leads to the growing complexity and sophistication of financial and project management requirements. Complex projects such as these require standardized templates that capture best practices. And this complexity and sophistication continue to grow as global markets progress from 3G to LTE and LTE Advanced. connecting wireless carriers.Introduction The complex process of deploying ever-changing technology is the driving initiative in the wireless industry today. 90% of the U. the complexity of networks. The demands require different data for different roles within carrier companies in order to have successful deployments. With the advent of small cell networks. even hundreds of thousands of projects by site. the wireless industry faces a new set of challenges in deploying and maintaining those networks.” The company’s Siterra software solution already runs over 1. projects. but also need to retain the right amount of flexibility to deal with real world scenarios such as adapting to local zoning regulations. Copyright © 2014 www. For example. carrier executives need visibility into project status.5 million projects across all customers and specializes in large scale network build outs and upgrades. and asset information management environment – with multiple point solutions that each manage a small piece of the network management lifecycle. as a trusted partner for all four major U. a “single source of the truth. or rather.S. Having a single system of record for all assets and attributes is missioncritical. and with the introduction of heterogeneous networks. Many companies in the industry have a very fragmented process for tracking site.

accruent. carriers face a new set of challenges that only having a “single source of truth” can address. Copyright © 2014 Page |3 .With the impending race to deploy small cells as carriers seek to densify networks in response to exponential increases in consumer demand for data. Read this white paper to learn more about these challenges and what you can do to find a way to manage and accelerate small cell deployments.

it was a natural progression to try to fit them into one of these time-proven and highly-evolved deployment models.S. AT&T plans to deploy 1 more than 40. especially in densely populated areas where a macrosite isn’t enough. Copyright © 2014 www. “AT&T Small Cells. we rapidly determined this wouldn’t work and that we would have to develop a new. DAS and Wi-Fi experience. 2012. Yet these deployments are no easy task. small cells provide a flexible way to increase capacity and service areas while better managing traffic. as the volume of projects rises. But. Siterra provides a solution. Mobile Data Market Update 2012. The rush to small cells is only likely to increase as carriers seek to densify networks in response to exponential increases in consumer demand for data.” but those data revenues have not kept 2 pace with traffic growth.” http://www. and deployable just about anywhere. “We’re a company with extensive macro. and unique model for Small Cells. Page |4 . Gordon. much like trying to hit the proverbial round peg into a square hole. and disputes between carriers and service providers about what was deployed when. Each problem drives up costs and slows deployments. poor data quality. Small.” Jeff Cocking Director of Engineering & Deployment. carriers’ revenues from data likely surpassed those from voice services for the first time in 2013. When we began to consider our strategy for Small Cells several years ago. 2 “U. Traditional deployment processes don’t account for all the site-based complexities of installing microcells. As a result.att. Think Small: Overcoming the Challenges of Small Cell Deployment Executive Summary Wireless carriers are racing to deploy small cells in the field. Goodman Networks The Small Cell Challenge According to analysts.accruent. carriers can boost network capacity. 1 Mansfield. 2014. Small cells present many complex deployment challenges that go far beyond those posed by macrosites. Small cells are the answer. wireless carriers need a cost-effective way to expand capacity and enhance service quality.Win Big. Otherwise. relatively inexpensive. Siterra extends its proven wireless site and project management solution with capabilities that match the unique requirements of microcell sites. By turning to small cells. Small issues can quickly escalate and lead to installation errors. the complexities of deployments could threaten the timing and success of enterprise-wide small cell programs.000 small cells by the end of 2015.chetansharma. Tower Companies and their Service Providers must find a way to manage and accelerate small cell deployments. With a new Small Cell Module.

Copyright © 2014 www. carriers and service providers risk encountering costly delays at every step in the process. the risk of building it in the wrong location is close to none. their deployments must be cost- effective.accruent. From rooftop femtocells to distributed antenna systems (DAS) inside an airport to picocells on utility poles. each type of small cell has its own set of challenges. Threading in backhaul and power to each cell can be a nightmare.Small cell sites present new layers of complexity as compared to traditional macrosite deployments. depending on the building. carriers and their service providers must overcome the following deployment challenges. with multiple microcells serving as antennas of a hub. All it takes is an error in the site plan or a misunderstanding from the installer. the carrier may pay without noticing the error. Absent an efficient way to manage and accelerate complex deployments. a new small cell deployment can take up to 200 days or more. Taking into account end-to-end documentation. However. consists of complex project requirements. a service provider may have trouble getting paid for installing small cells if technicians submit inadequate documentation of the deployment. permitting. leasing. If a service provider fails to install two of 50 small cells on a project. including: • Complex project deployments. Simply knowing that a service provider completed a deployment as designed and billed is more difficult than with a traditional site. For small cells to deliver on their promise. A small cell deployment project. it’s all too easy to deploy a small cell on the incorrect node inside a building. With all of the Page |5 . and zoning issues of a traditional macrosite. acquisition. Each project entails many of the design. To ensure maximum value from small cells. and leasing documentation required to build a macrosite. On the other hand. feasibility. That means they must not unleash a torrent of administrative hassles that drive up the cost to install each antenna. whether outside or within a building.

leases. and maintain them at a massive scale. Accruent developed a module that extends the power of the Siterra solution to accelerate and improve small cell deployment processes. Deployment processes—and technologies—designed to support macrosites won’t deliver the efficiencies needed for microcells. you must be able to choose sites. Every step in the deployment process and every stage in the lifecycle of a small cell must be automated to the extent possible. The need to accommodate increased traffic while retaining customers has pressured carrier margins. a technician installing a device on the wrong node in a shopping center could require reinstallation or make it difficult to even find the device for maintenance.att. install antennas. Recognizing the unique characteristics of small cell deployment. Data entry errors and other seemingly minor issues at any step in a project can cause inefficiencies to consume valuable time and money.” www.000 small cells by 2015 as part of a three-year. Small cells will help carriers keep ahead of ever-increasing system traffic and comparably flat revenue. cisco. 2012–2017. Carriers plan to deploy massive numbers of small cells. “AT&T Small Cells. Gordon. • The cost to deploy and maintain individual small cell units must be low. As noted Cisco estimated that mobile data traffic will increase 4 13-fold by 2017. For instance.” www. May 2013. Though small. and projects.accruent. sites.• Aggressive project volume. Rising costs. 4 “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology. Only a solution tailored to small cells will enable the wireless industry to meet its deployment goals. Siterra for Small Cells Since Page |6 . Siterra addresses the challenges of small cell deployment by: 3 Mansfield. In a recent report. wireless carriers and service providers have relied on Siterra from Accruent to help them manage assets. The trend shows no signs of slowing. As a carrier or service provider to carriers. Copyright © 2014 www. AT&T plans to deploy 40. and they’ve barely gotten started. microcells present huge challenges to carriers and service providers. Wireless traffic has exploded in recent years thanks to the prevalence of smart mobile devices. lay backhaul. Only a highly efficient—and accurate—process driving deployment will allow carriers to meet their goals for the number of devices deployed. US$14 billion 3 initiative.

• Scaling to match the influx of small cells. Task dependencies boost productivity by ensuring technicians perform the right task at the right time. The red dots represent antenna nodes on a Distributed Antenna System all contained in a ‘hub’ at an Page |7 . Copyright © 2014 www.• Managing complex deployments. Track multiple projects by site locations and attributes to get a big-picture view of your small cell assets.accruent. Use project templates that group small cells as antennas on a hub to manage deployments at complex sites more easily as an integrated project. • Increasing deployment rates. Siterra lets you manage microcells as antennas on a hub. enabling easier project management and faster deployment. Small Cell Location Analytics helps field technicians work faster and more accurately.

leading to several being located incorrectly. hundreds. the technicians cannot verify that they installed all the antennas or placed them in the correct locations. They decide to do all the forms associated with the job several days later. it may take months or even years to notice the problem. Looking at a typical deployment as an example highlights the inefficiencies of deployment without Siterra and the benefits of deployment with Siterra. Absent a way to tie their locations to deployments. Copyright © 2014 www. service providers may issue work orders to install antennas well before backhaul is available. Without visibility across projects. All the while. skipping several required fields and misremembering details as they fill in other Page |8 . This ties up highly skilled technicians who could be deploying microcells in service-ready locations. the carrier pays leasing fees for assets that aren’t even there. Those without access to the power of Siterra may try to manage deployments with industry-agnostic. it takes the service provider that employed the technicians significant time to spot and resolve the issue. Such tools aren’t designed to manage the challenges of small cell deployments. And if the carrier does notice and doesn’t pay. or thousands of deployments simultaneously.accruent. The technicians are supposed to fill in a form as part of the installation. but are unable to complete the form on-site. Field technicians also may have trouble simply finding the correct locations to install the antennas. project management or asset management tools. Deployment without Siterra Take a DAS installation at an airport as an example. If they skipped a few antennas. and you gain a view into the progress of each project. The following example of a typical deployment with and without Siterra illustrates the value of the solution.Siterra makes it possible to manage dozens. Each deployment advances more efficiently. Site Management Tailored to Small Cells Siterra delivers the visibility and site management tools that carriers and their service providers need.

Shared data not only enhances collaboration. there’s no way to skip required fields in Siterra. letting it manage the installation and billing using the same data as the carrier. The visibility that Siterra delivers extends to the deployment site. In the earliest stages of the project.accruent. At the optimal time. enabling more strategic management of small cell assets. GPS verifies that the technicians are in the correct locations. Siterra for small cell management helps to: • Compress deployment project timelines • Improve installation and data quality • Increase visibility into individual projects and across microcell assets • Scale efficient processes to support the microcell asset lifecycle • Enhance collaboration between carriers and service providers Copyright © 2014 www. The service provider also uses Siterra. the carrier provisions the equipment and taps a service provider to install it. This lets the carrier manage the site’s complexities more efficiently. Small Cell Location Analytics in Siterra helps the service provider’s field technicians navigate to the desired locations for antenna nodes quickly and accurately. This high-quality data supports improved asset management over the entire lifecycle of the asset. it also helps the service provider prevent or quickly resolve the kinds of issues that can delay payments. the carrier sets the stage for a compressed project timeline by organizing the antennas as a hub that includes the organization of the network. the carrier knows when backhaul is available. The Siterra Microstrategy Reporting Engine further leverages this high-quality data to enable visibility across portfolios of hubs and Page |9 . Siterra ensures they document the process in compliance with the carrier’s data standards.Accelerating Deployment with Siterra Siterra transforms the deployment process. With visibility across projects. As technicians commission microcells.

360Facility. Calgary. Evoco and Expesite are used by more than 1.861. Illinois. To keep costs under control.0726 or toll free at 800.5 billion square feet of property.S.accruent. and leading service providers managing more than 1. 20% of the Fortune 500. About Accruent Accruent helps real estate and facilities leaders deliver long-term. Accruent. 100 leading universities. Copyright © 2014 www. and Hong Kong. Columbus.774. Accruent is headquartered in Austin. For more information. Founded in 1995. all of the Top 4 Page | 10 . Canada. world class operational and financial performance through purpose-built industry suites that deliver greater customer value.200 leading organizations in 56 countries. California. with offices in Santa Monica. this solution would further streamline the process by giving carriers and their service providers an integrated view into projects. Evanston. capturing accurate data throughout the process • Manage deployment complexities proactively across projects • Scale processes proactively to manage large portfolios of microcells Join the carriers and service providers who already use the Siterra Small Cell Module to accelerate and streamline small cell deployments. Ideally. Use it to: • Deploy small cells faster. Ohio. Wireless Carriers. Texas. Alberta. contact Accruent at 512. they need a solution that lets them manage large numbers of complex deployments more easily.accruent. Start to finish—and beyond—Siterra makes it easier to install small cells efficiently while avoiding the issues that lead to delays and increased costs.7622 and you can visit our website at: www. Siterra.Conclusion Carriers and service providers must find a way to deploy tens of thousands of small cells without breaking the bank. Siterra offers the capabilities carriers and service providers need. FAMIS. including 40% of the Top 100 Accruent’s six product brands.