Why Westell is the Right Choice for Smart City Monitoring


Note: This is sponsored content courtesy of Westell. It was not written or edited by Inside Towers.

Amy Walther, VP Sales, Westell Technologies Inc.

What is Smart City monitoring? Not everyone knows at this point, but we all know we need to plan for it. Many companies understand they need to find solutions for monitoring the edge of Smart City projects. Still, they don’t even know what they want to monitor, and the opportunities are endless. Each major city has street poles, benches, kiosk hubs, and pay meter locations that might look very different. The solution set needs to be simple, yet wildly capable of solving diverse and complex networks as today’s clients use other companies to solve each unique problem. For instance, if you need to monitor lights, you might go to a lighting provider. Conversely, if you need to monitor temperature, you will go to a different provider. The risk of escalating costs and inefficiency increases each time you chose additional platforms for alarm collection, monitoring, and maintenance.

Westell has been doing IOT before it was called IOT

Westell has solved this problem with one affordable device. Being in the monitoring business for over 30 years, they created the Internet-of-Things before being called IOT. The backbone of the Westell Intelligent Site Management Team has always been monitoring a plethora of device types to translate them and make it seamless for the customer with actionable data.

Westell brings that intelligence to the edge. They are the only vendor-agnostic solution.

What are the ultimate problems to solve for Smart City Monitoring?

When it comes to Smart Cities, think about size, appearance, and elements. The EdgeLink device comes standard in a stealthy, compact, outdoor-rated enclosure with extended temperature ratings, ready for deployment nearly anywhere. This solution can mount on poles, inside light bases, cabinet exteriors, or inside cabinets eliminating additional permits. OEM white-labeling of the complete hardware and software solution is also available for qualifying partners.

One of the most significant issues at these locations is commercial power loss or fuse failures. The battery backup provides you the comfort of getting that last notification should you lose commercial power, as, without this, you would not know what is wrong if a site is offline. The Edgelink also provides a heartbeat in case the issue is due to wireless connectivity or fiber cut.

Deployment needs to reduce complexity. The EdgeLink’s concept, designed for highly repeatable, easy to deploy projects, is the perfect solution. The OnRamp app provides wireless connectivity to complete the configuration even if the EdgeLink is located above your reach; the free OnRamp app allows you to configure from the ground.

Let’s talk about Small Cells

Carriers are faced with new challenges as they build out their small cell networks; challenges such as monitoring the lights on the pole.

Westell provides the solution to ensure your light is on or off when it should be. Although the small cell radio may notify you that there is a problem, the technician does not know the real issue forcing them to visit the site. Westell’s smart pole solution can provide you valuable information that will reduce truck rolls for things like critical power outages or fiber cuts, eliminating a site visit, and calling the provider directly for a resolution. The Westell solution can pay for itself by eliminating even a single truck roll.

For some small cell deployments, access via ladder or bucket truck adds additional time and equipment to access the small cell; the EdgeLink / VantEdge solution can help eliminate this extra labor and cost for diagnosing infrastructure conditions. Options for Dual-SIM LTE Cat-M, Fiber, and Ethernet connectivity make it suitable for virtually any network deployment. Dry contact inputs, coupled with low-cost voltage or current detection devices, allow for monitoring electrical conditions on-site such as lamp status and power availability for radio devices. Other inputs allow for monitoring equipment alarms, temperature, door or hatch tamper switches, or ancillary devices such as fans or active cooling systems.

The small cell owner will often get billed for the max utility amperage at that pole because there is not a meter. By connecting optional high accuracy class electrical meter, the EdgeLink provides cost-effective metering and, or sub-metering for tenant equipment, with energy status and consumption data collected and reported through the VantEdge IoT portal. Maybe carriers should start fighting back instead of being forced to pay the max 24x7x365; think of the cost savings.

Single Pane of Glass 

Westell provides a single pane of glass with the VantEdge Platform. The VantEdge platform provides alarms, alarm history, mapping, configuration backup, ability to manage firmware, analytics, and notifications. Historical alarm information is exportable for reporting purposes. This solution is a low-cost way to provide the user with full access to critical site information. No training is needed to use VantEdge, enabling the user to troubleshoot issues at the smart city location quickly. Westell also offers bundled 4G private wireless data services (USA-only), simplifying IoT connectivity, deployment, and customer operations.

Westell operates out of Aurora, IL. Our hardware is proudly made in the United States of America. Our commitment to the customer is our number one mantra. We continue to create modern approaches to monitoring new and old devices together while other providers have not figured it out.

Not everything connects via Ethernet.

We have the solution for you.

Contact us today at www.westell.com.


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