As discussed in Part 1 of this series, customer service providers (CSPs) manage telecommunication systems as a business that yields profitable activity. The determining factor upon which they focus is the total cost of ownership (TCO). TCO is a numerical value driven by direct and indirect components.
The direct elements include:
- Number of base stations to serve a given region. Does the carrier choose fewer base stations with more power, or more base stations with lower power to cover a service area?
- The electric bill. What are the power costs to a base-station operator, and how can they be managed? What power profiles are expected at peak traffic and low traffic periods?
- Reliability. How long will the equipment operate before maintenance schedules dictate replacement of modules or subsystems? How do we minimize costly “truck rolls” for on-site repair, adjustments, or service? How is reliability influenced by power consumption?
- Equipment and technology. What does the equipment cost? Does the carrier use cutting-edge or more conventional technology? Does the local base station have edge processing capabilities, requiring more hardware and support systems (cooling, power conditioning, monitoring, diagnostics, etc.?)
- Installation. Municipality permits and licenses for tower or antenna head installations aren’t cheap. Some locations may be more costly than others. Tower structures may need to be erected in some cases, where in other cases buildings or other existing infrastructure could be used to elevate antenna systems.