edotco goes beyond steel and grass in Myanmar

The towerco on its decision to manage power to drive operational efficiency and improve engagement with stakeholders

Last February, Asian infrastructure leader edotco took over Ooredoo’s energy assets in 1,250 tower across Myanmar. After a successful touchdown, the company decided to acquire all those energy assets and is now managing the power supply and maintenance for all the tenants on the towers. The decision is driving operational efficiency, adding value to their offer and allowing the company to meet their environmental targets while improving their relationship with key stakeholders and communities in the region. In this interview, edotco’s country manager Vijendran Watson comments the company’s footprint and plans for Myanmar and analyses the drivers and benefits of the decision.

TowerXchange: Please tell us about the recent deal with Ooredoo for the asset management of 1250 sites. What does that mean for edotco and what will be required to succeed?

Vijendran Watson, Country Managing Director, edotco Myanmar:

In February 2018, we took over the management of Ooredoo energy assets on our sites. In May 2018, edotco Myanmar purchased those energy assets on 1,250 telecommunications tower sites across the country.

Under this agreement, edotco Myanmar will now be able to provide and manage energy for all tenants on these sites. The consolidation of systems is set to not only enhance operations but also create energy and environmental efficiencies.

TowerXchange: Why is edotco shifting its business model towards a tower + power service?

Vijendran Watson, Country Managing Director, edotco Myanmar:

Traditionally, edotco had been providing tower services only, which resulted in customers placing their own energy systems on the sites.

As a neutral infrastructure service provider, edotco saw the opportunity to provide more value to our customers through the provisioning of ancillary services like energy management. This lead to not only more cost and operational efficiencies, but also improved community engagement as the reduction of multiple diesel generators at sites consequently reduces carbon dioxide emissions as well as the noise pollution associated with it.

Efficient usage of energy systems through sharing results in optimal costs as well as reduces diesel usage, enabling us to deliver on our green operations commitment to the customers and communities.

TowerXchange: It has been two years since edotco’s entrance into Myanmar. Can you tell us if the original expectations have been met?

Vijendran Watson, Country Managing Director, edotco Myanmar:

We began operations in Myanmar with 1,250 towers and a 1.54x tenancy ratio. In the two years since, edotco Myanmar has grown its tower count by approximately 30%, with 3,400 tenancies and a 2.0x tenancy ratio (as of March 2018).

Further strengthening our product and services portfolio, we entered into the indoor coverage solutions space in January 2018 by deploying the first solution in Mandalay International Airport.

We commenced our journey in providing energy when we provided Tower + Power on the new sites we built for MPT. Our recently signed agreement with Ooreedoo marks a significant achievement for us as we grow in the energy management space in Myanmar.

TowerXchange: What has changed since Mytel entrance in Myanmar and have there been effects on edotco?

Vijendran Watson, Country Managing Director, edotco Myanmar:

For edotco, Mytel’s entry into the market has been positive as it has increased healthy competition within the telco industry. We worked with the Mytel team on their network rollout and look forward to partnering more in the future.

TowerXchange: Is Myanmar being fiberised and if so, who is taking care of it? Is edotco involved or looking at getting involved in the process?

Vijendran Watson, Country Managing Director, edotco Myanmar:

While there are a few fibre service providers in Myanmar, fibre adoption level is still relatively low. We expect this to change soon, especially with the densification of 4G networks and increasing capacity demands. As the mobile industry evolves, an independent towerco like edotco is well positioned to look at how we can leverage on existing fibre networks for maximized impact for all, rather than developing parallel networks.

TowerXchange: Having a pan-regional eye on the tower industry, how is Myanmar comparing to other markets where you operate in terms of operational complexity, revenues and overall growth?

Vijendran Watson, Country Managing Director, edotco Myanmar:

We are optimistic about the opportunities in Myanmar, considering the country’s conducive regulatory environment, the exponential economic growth and a positive increase in skilled workforce and investment in infrastructure.

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