What Are the Anti-Theft Methods for Telecom Base Stations?

In recent years, the number of 5G base stations has increased, and as the price of metal materials has risen, the bronze medals, copper wires, and copper tubes of communication base stations have been severely stolen. Batteries, feeders, and transformers have also become targets for thieves.

Many communication sites are widely distributed in multiple areas. In relatively remote base stations, the traditional manual inspection and maintenance mode is used. Due to the geographical location and other factors, it is often illegal when maintenance personnel and police personnel have not yet arrived. The elements have already committed the crime. This not only causes major economic losses to operators, but also leads to communication and network interruptions, causing huge indirect economic losses to the society, and also causing headaches for communication maintenance engineers. How to effectively solve the safety of unmanned base stations, computer rooms and other site equipment has become an urgent problem to be solved.

On the morning of February 26, 2016, after receiving a user’s phone call that reported weak cell phone signals and extremely slow Internet access, the maintenance staff of China Telecom’s Luzhou branch inspected the transmission signal and found that the attenuation of the base station’s signal at this location exceeded the normal fluctuation range, almost In a state of paralysis. In the end, an engineer’s inspection revealed that two of the four optical fibers were embedded with suspicious parts, which were confirmed to be signal attenuators.

The person in charge of the accident, Manager Lee, reluctantly said: “The signal attenuator is a professional equipment that only communications professionals know how to install and use. In addition to the stolen installation of the signal attenuator, some telecommunications optical switch boxes in the urban area have been continuously damaged , Hundreds of optical fiber tail connectors were unplugged. It’s like messing up a huge jigsaw puzzle. To put it together again, it takes a lot of time to compare and recover.”

In view of this kind of theft and the destruction of communication base station facilities, here are some suggestions:

1. Install monitoring device
The base station should be installed for remote monitoring and video storage. Key parts such as the entrance and exit of the base station, battery storage area, feeder window, etc. should be monitored. Once illegal intrusion occurs, video recording and upload to the monitoring center should be started.

2. Install anti-theft alarm detector
The base station should be equipped with infrared anti-theft alarm detectors, and the detection area should cover important parts such as the entrance and exit of the base station and the feeder window. The anti-theft alarm detector shall have functions such as intrusion alarm, tamper alarm, fault alarm and so on.

3. Add electronic locks to outdoor telecom cabinets
Traditional communication cabinets mostly use ordinary mechanical padlocks. Potential safety hazards of mechanical padlocks:

Mechanical padlocks are easy to pry open, keys are easy to copy; it is not clear who unlocked the lock, whether to lock the lock, accidents cannot be held accountable; compared to mechanical locks, passive electronic locks are a more suitable solution for outdoor telecom cabinets. 
By setting the specific unlocking authority of the key (user, unlocking date and time period), the controllability of unlocking can be greatly improved, without worrying about the key being copied. And every unlocking record is kept in the key. In the event of a theft, you can use the unlocking record to find the person responsible.

4. Conduct relevant legal education
The base station is protected by national laws, and any damage to or theft of communication base station facilities is illegal. The best way to act as a deterrent through warnings is to let the thieves retreat. Those who report valuable clues will be rewarded and encouraged to encourage the general public to combat theft.

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