Managing Network Elements at Remote Cell Towers via 3G-4G Modem

When a network device at a remote cell tower crashes and makes direct communication with the tower impossible, it’s absolutely vital to have a secondary, out-of-band avenue for communication in order to allow administrators to restore communication without a service call. In more mundane network applications, the obvious choices for out-of-band management would be a secondary network or a dial-up connection, but given the extremely remote nature of most cell towers, cellular broadband via 3G/4G modem is often the only viable option for out-of-band communication with a cell tower.

When an effective out-of-band management solution is deployed at a cell tower, this enables administrators and tech support personnel to deal with problems at the cell tower site without actually traveling to the site in person. In many cases, network outages at cell towers can often be remedied using a switched PDU to reboot unresponsive network elements at the tower, or a console server to access command functions on devices at the tower in order to change configuration parameters or switch to back-up devices.

The tricky part of this equation is finding a means to communicate with a switched PDU or console at the remote cell tower in order to correct network problems. If the cell tower is down, then both network communication via cable and direct cellular communication with the tower are often down too. In situations like this, cellular broadband communication via 3G/4G modem allows remote administrators to communicate with network devices at the tower via the nearest functioning cell tower.

In addition to providing a means to communicate with the remote cell tower in order to reboot unresponsive devices or change configuration parameters in order to restore communication, advanced console servers and switched PDUs also offer other capabilities that can help simplify the process of managing devices at the remote tower. A full-featured console server or switched PDU should include monitoring and alarm functions that enable remote administrators to track conditions and events at the remote tower plus adequate security and authentication features to prevent unauthorized access.

If you’re searching for an out-of-band management solution for a cell tower application, you should consider WTI’s VMR series outlet metered PDUs, TSM series console servers and RPC series DC power control switches. All of these WTI products are easily adaptable to cellular broadband communication via 3G/4G modem, plus they also include cutting edge monitoring and alarm features plus a formidable array of authentication and security features to ensure that communication with the tower is safe from unauthorized access.

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