Southco: Securing Small Cells with Electronic Access Systems

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Since 1945, Southco, Inc, a leading manufacturer of Access Hardware solutions, has been providing innovative products to help customers solve and overcome engineering challenges. With the rollout of 5G, Southco continues to serve the telecommunications industry by providing advanced physical security for small cell infrastructure.

“5G puts the small cells a lot closer to the end-user, and there are concerns regarding the proximity of placing high-tech infrastructure so close to the public,” said Mike Fahy, Global Product Manager for Electronic Access Solutions (EAS) at Southco. “To prevent vandalism, theft, and downtime, Southco provides latch and hinge solutions to provide a greater protection against enclosure break-ins.”

Electronic Access Solutions provide an intelligent way to efficiently and comprehensively manage physical access to Telecom Enclosures. “Our Electronic Access Solutions provide versatile security for small cells and other 5G equipment and can be easily integrated into your existing access control system,” said Fahy.

EAS consist of integrated electromechanical locks and latches that can be used to secure enclosures in remote locations. Networked electronic access control systems provide significant benefits for physical security management, enabling simplified credential management and audit trail monitoring for small cell enclosures. By using EAS platforms to secure these enclosures, valuable and sensitive equipment can be better protected. Maintenance and servicing of the equipment can now also be managed with efficiency, flexibility, and maximum security.

As 5G equipment is deployed, it needs to be both fully secured and easily accessed on an ongoing basis by a variety of personnel performing routine maintenance and service tasks. Southco’s solutions help solve these unique challenges.

“Many small cell structures include multiple padlocks with different keys assigned to different vendors, which is inefficient,” said Fahy. “With Southco’s EAS solution, a digital credential can be easily issued, traced, and even revoked from anywhere in the world.”

With EAS, telecoms can secure a small cell enclosure with an intelligent electronic lock and track when a door is opened and for how long via cloud-based access controllers or your existing Access Control system.

Southco also takes it one step further and engineers locks and latches that minimize the “intrusion” of network equipment. This factor is critical for municipalities with stringent aesthetic regulations, especially those adhering to historic preservation guidelines.

“Not only do we take physical security into consideration with our designs, but we also consider the appearance of the hardware. Making it more attractive, concealed, and inconspicuous, while functional, checks all the necessary boxes,” said Fahy.

EAS is also a cost-effective way to secure small cell infrastructure while gaining insights and control. “Some believe these systems require significant hardware, IT investment, and ongoing support, but that’s not the case,” said Fahy. “EAS can be used to elevate the physical security of networked enclosures with minimal cost and complexity.”

As telecoms continue to roll out 5G infrastructure, Southco will be there to provide innovative access hardware solutions engineered for tomorrow. Southco is an international organization that’s been in business since 1899 and headquartered in Southeastern Pennsylvania. To learn more about Southco’s secure, discreet, and customized solutions for the telecommunications industry and 5G small cell enclosures, visit www.southco.com.

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