Malaysia-based edotco Group today became the first towerco to utilise bamboo in the construction of a telecoms tower, which was installed on a rooftop in the Uttara region of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Studies indicated that untreated bamboo has the ability to bear the weight of concrete while possessing the rigidity and tensile strength to support its own weight, making it a material for telecom structure. It can withstand gusts of up to 210km/h, with an expected lifespan of approximately 10 years with proper maintenance. A bamboo tower takes around 12 days to construct, and consumes less energy to manufacture compared to traditional steel towers. The structure has a capacity to house up to 8 antennas at a time, enabling other mobile operator to share the tower.
As an added bonus, bamboo being inherently light, allows for easy transportation and installation of structures on rooftops without putting any additional stress on the building. The deployed structure underwent a chemical treatment as a measure to protect it from termite and mould attacks as well as adverse climate conditions. To ensure the successful deployment of the bamboo telecoms tower, edotco has trialed the unique solution at an experimental demo site in Kanchpur, Dhaka last December.
Developed in collaboration with Bangladesh University of Engineering (BUET) and deployed by edotco Bangladesh Co. Ltd., the noteworthy use of this renewable resource keeps in pace with the pulse of innovation which is in the “DNA” of edotco, the company said. This milestone also reinforced edotco’s foothold at the forefront of sustainable and green engineering.
The research and development which was led by Professor Dr. Syed Ishtiaq Ahmad, Professor of Civil Engineering in BUET, focused on the design and viability of bamboo as an alternative material to traditional steel structures in telecommunications.
Professor Dr. Syed Ishtiaq Ahmad of BUET commented, “We are very pleased to see the installation of the first bamboo telecoms tower in our country. Bangladesh is a country with plenty of natural resources, including bamboo which is a renewable material. Being able to use these resources in efforts to contribute to the country’s technological progress is a natural course of action to take. Feasibility studies showed that bamboo is a good material choice for telecoms tower due to its properties. We thank edotco for believing in such an initiative that contributes to nation building and conservation of the environment.”
“edotco is always experimenting with materials and innovative solutions to address the challenges of the telecommunications infrastructure industry. The bamboo telecoms tower is our latest innovation which we conceptualised utilising natural, sustainable resources to build telecommunications infrastructure to lessen the impact on the environment. We are pleased that we have developed this solution in partnership with BUET, and hope we can continue to collaborate in other areas. It’s also testament to the quality of human capital in Bangladesh that we were able to pioneer this in Dhaka” said Suresh Sidhu, CEO of edotco Group.
edotco said it intends to roll out more bamboo structures as proof of concepts (P.O.C) in several other areas in Dhaka in 2017; by 2018, edotco will take this solution to other markets where edotco operates and where bamboo resources are available.
The group operates and manages a regional portfolio of over 25,000 towers across core markets of Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Sri Lanka with 17,100 towers directly operated by edotco and a further 8,100 towers managed through a range of services provided. edotco Bangladesh was established in 2013 and currently has a footprint of over 8,200 sites in the country.