KDDI began using a newly developed fibreglass reinforced plastic as the support column for new base stations, replacing steel poles which are 40 per cent heavier.

The operator worked with Cosmo System to develop a highly corrosion-resistance glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP), extending the lifespan of the poles and reducing maintenance.

KDDI stated the lower weight of the material means no cranes are needed when deploying the poles, speeding installation and obviating the need for permission to locate the lifting equipment.

The tubes are made using a special filament winding method in which glass fibres are wrapped at a specific angle, increasing strength, and making them durable enough to withstand strong winds and earthquakes.

In 2023, KDDI claimed a Japanese first after deploying underground 5G base station components.