Edotco, the tower business of Malaysia-headquartered Axiata Group, announced it used bamboo to construct a telecoms tower on a rooftop site in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh.
Developed in collaboration with Bangladesh University of Engineering and deployed by Edotco Bangladesh, R&D of the design was led by Syed Ishtiaq Ahmad, a professor of civil engineering at the university. The goal of the research was to explore the use of bamboo (pictured) as an alternative material to traditional steel structures.
In an Edotco statement, Ahmad said he is pleased to see the installation of the first bamboo telecoms tower in the country, and feasibility studies showed bamboo is a good material for the structures. “We thank Edotco for believing in such an initiative that contributes to conservation of the environment.”
The research indicated untreated bamboo can bear the weight of concrete, can withstand gusts of up to 210km per hour, and offers an expected lifespan of about ten 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 offers capacity to house up to eight antennas at a time, enabling co-location, Edotco said.
Since bamboo is inherently light, it allows for easy transportation and installation of structures on rooftops without putting any additional stress on buildings.
Edotco intends to roll out more bamboo structures as proof-of-concepts in several other areas in Dhaka this year, and in 2018 it will take the solution to other markets where the company operates.
The firm operates more than 16,000 towers in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Pakistan.
Investment company Moody’s in November tipped Axiata to consider an IPO of Edotco as part of efforts to reduce the group’s high leverage.