MANILA - PLDT Inc. and its wireless arm Smart Communications are deploying the country's first lightweight carbon fiber towers in urban rooftops, the telco said Friday.
Carbon fiber towers are said to be 10 times lighter than steel towers and are expected to be light enough to be installed on buildings and are compliant with the National Building Code, PLDT Inc. and Smart said in a joint statement.
Carbon fiber towers are easier to transport, made of non-corrosive materials, and require almost no maintenance making them ideal for rooftops, the group said.
Using carbon fiber will also reduce PLDT and Smart's environmental impact, occupy less land area which translates to more efficient land use, the statement said.
"These towers also help our network become more disaster-resilient. Their non-corrosive nature, coupled with their ability to withstand strong winds, makes them ideal for coastal municipalities, where strong typhoons are now more common because of climate change," said Smart's Head of Transport Network and Support Facilities Planning and Engineering Meinardo Opiana.
"Their lightweight material, on the other hand, reduces the potential hazards of structural overload for rooftop towers that are already burdened by huge antennas and new tech rollout," Opiana added.
The towers will support the LTE and 5G rollout and expansion with lighter solutions that can serve at full capacity, said PLDT and Smart senior vice president and head of Technology Mario G. Tamayo.
PLDT said it has a fiber infrastructure of over 478,000 kilometers as of March 2021.
Building more cell towers and infrastructure will help improve internet connectivity in the country.