Telecom industry is the fastest growing business field globally. It is now not only “having conversation with a relative” but also consuming media through phones, tablets and laptops. According to recent studies, the data upload/download was below 10% 7 years ago and now it is nearly 60% of daily mobile phone usage. It is expected to rise up to 80% in coming 5 years which reflects the changing telecommunication habit of users and puts a critical role on mobile operators more than ever.
Tower infrastructure companies give service to their tenants(mobile operators) by building up a tower at a requested spot and supplying generator, shelter, fence and some additional energy sources like solar panels and/or small wind turbines in some countries. The majority of the investment on such a telecom site is the generator because when the power goes off (which is a serious fact in most parts of the world), site has to use the existing batteries backed up by generator until the maintanence team reaches the site.
In today’s world, having an on-going service on telecom sites is even more critical considering that the customers are not simply saying “hello” to eachother anymore, but having the benefits of smart phones.
If you are located in a region in south Asia, middle Africa or south America, you already know what a lightning strike is. It draws one of the most beautiful pictures every time however it is also the most damaging act of nature.
Besides the deadly effects of this natural phenomenon, lightning strikes give damage to telecom industry much more than you have thought.
Let’s do the math:
Countries located in middle Africa have an average lightning strike rate of 50 flashes/km2 per year. For a country like Nigeria (910.000 km2 land area), it makes over 45.000.000(45million) lightning strikes, every year..
A telecom tower is like a magnet for lightning strikes because of two reasons; 1) they are made of conductive metal materials, 2) they are usually the tallest structures around.
There are roughly around 30.000 telecom towers in Nigeria and let’s assume that 1000 of them are affected by lightning strikes every year. 1 lightning strike gives damage from $1000 to $10.000 depending on which equipment is lost and/or how long the site goes off-service.
So if we assume only 3% of total towers face only 1 lightning strike in a year in a country facing over 45.000.000 lightning strikes per year; we are looking at a loss of minimum $1.000.000 to $10.000.000 either from mobile operator or inftrastructure company every year.
With more realistic assumptions, the loss can easily rise up to $100 million/year. Multiply it with 10 years and you will be even more enlightened about the size of lightning damage.
What is to be done?
Telecom towers are not the appropriate places to use traditional lightning arresters. The reason is; tower itself already collects all strikes and lightning arrester collects strikes even more. The problem starts at this point; lightning current has to flow down to the ground through the fastest(most conductive) way which is the tower body/legs. During this flow, lightning current damages the equipment located on tower body and inside shelter. This makes the site go off and there is nothing to support the site to keep on giving service.
Putting a lightning arrester on top and attracting lightning strikes on the tower is like standing in a railway and expecting that the train hits you but does not give any damage to your body! Let’s face it; you are not Superman..
What you need to do is to step out of railway and let the train pass without giving any damage to you. What is needed to be done for a telecom tower is to keep lightning away from the site to avoid any possible damages and service drops.
EvoDis® Lightning Prevention System
EvoDis® System is a unique lightning prevention solution for metal towers such as the ones used in telecom industry. During a storm, EvoDis® dissipates the charges on tower and makes the tower “invisible” to lightning. This keeps the site away from lightning strikes and keep all equipment on tower and inside shelter safe. No lightning on site, no damage on equipment, no cost of maintenance and no loss of service for mobile operators.
EvoDis® System has been used on hundreds of lightning prone towers worldwide with 100% success for many years.
With patented design and application, EvoDis is not a luxury for telecommunication industry anymore, but a must to avoid lightning related damages and loss of millions of dollars.
Lightning is not a punishment of God and it can be easily prevented by EvoDis® Lightning Prevention System.
Contact Us and let us know how we can support your business.