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Going native with telecom towers

  • Published at 12:58 am March 29th, 2017
Going native with telecom towers
A Malaysia-based telecommunications infrastructure company has teamed up with engineers of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology to build the country’s first cell phone tower made from bamboo. Edotco Group (“edotco”), the world’s 14th largest tower company, which is owned by Axiata Group, the largest shareholder in Robi Axiata, is behind the initiative. BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood inaugurated the bamboo tower on Tuesday at a programme in Dhaka’s Westin Hotel. Edotco utilised bamboo in the construction of a telecommunication tower, which was installed on a rooftop in Uttara Model Town of the city. The BTRC Chairman said if the use of bamboo tower turns out to be successful, incentives would be offered for the home-grown technology. Edotco Bangladesh Co. Ltd. has developed the bamboo tower in collaboration with Bangladesh University of Engineering (Buet). The research and development of the project, led by Professor Dr Syed Ishtiaq Ahmad of Buet’s Civil Engineering Department, focused on the design and viability of bamboo as an alternative material to traditional steel structures in telecommunications. “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,” Professor Dr Syed Ishtiaq Ahmad said while speaking at the inauguration. “Feasibility studies showed that bamboo is a good material choice for telecom towers due to its properties. We thank Edotco for believing in such an initiative that contributes to nation-building and conservation of the environment,” he added. Studies indicate 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 suitable material for telecom structures. It can withstand gusts of up to 210km/h, with an expected lifespan of about 10 years. 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 co-location.