Brian Sims

LOCKEN’s access control solution ensures network security for dstelecom

CABLE-FREE access control systems specialist LOCKEN has developed an innovative solution for controlling access to fibre optic distribution cabinets, with the aim of increasing network security and reinforcing the quality of service provided for customers of dstelecom, the telecoms business based in Portugal.

dstelecom is a wholesale telecommunications operator responsible for the construction and management of the first and largest multi-operator FTTH fibre optic network in Europe, which is available to all telecommunications operators.

LOCKEN’s systems is being implemented in more than 100 municipalities across Portugal, with the project implemented in phases to secure upwards of 1,750 cabinets stretching from the north to the south of the country. Currently in its roll-out phase, the project is expected to be completed by next month.

dstelecom, in fact, is the first telecommunications company to implement an access control system at this level of network distribution, thus positioning itself as a market pioneer given that control systems are usually applied in more centralised infrastructures.

Developed exclusively for dstelecom, the LOCKEN solution will guarantee increased resilience and reliability against potential damage or vandalism and also ensure there’s no unauthorised access to the fibre distribution cabinets. Additionally, it will contribute to reducing dstelecom’s environmental impact by decreasing the number of trips to lockers for network maintenance.

In essence, the new solution is replacing mechanical locks with a mechatronic locking solution, which – combined with a smart key, Bluetooth technology and a mobile application – then allows each user to be authenticated to manage access permissions and guarantee (or restrict) access whenever necessary.

Remote control

“The main challenge of this project was to design a system that, together with the right processes, would allow for the remote control of who has access to each cabinet, when and why,” explained Sérgio Fernandes, CTO of dstelecom.

Throughout its infrastructure, dstelecom operates more than 1,750 distribution cabinets where it divides the optical signal and creates all of the necessary network ‘capillaries’ in order to reach end users.

Given their importance within the network topology, the cabinets are strategic and critical points for the stability of the services provided. Although these cabinets have hundreds of optical connections, they are currently devoid of any energy supply, making it difficult to install control systems.

The solution developed in partnership with LOCKEN responds to the challenges involved. “The fact that we are able to register in real-time all access events to the cabinets will allow us to correlate this data with other information on the network, such as the registration of tasks, failures and service degradations,” added Fernandes.

Outside of the box

According to Carlos Fernández, architecture manager at LOCKEN, dstelecom is at the forefront of innovation. “Many important companies involved in the digitisation process have not yet reached dstelecom has already attained with this project.”

On that note, innovation is one of the main pillars of dstelecom’s DNA. “Our teams are challenged daily to think outside of the box and discuss important issues for the evolution of the business,” concluded Fernandes. “In terms of this project with LOCKEN, the end result has been derived from strategic thinking between colleagues who have sparked the change.”

*Further information on LOCKEN’s access control solutions is available online at

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