edotco 360: Developing new products and services for the Asian tower market

Wan Zainal on the evolution of edotco’s products and strategies

Read this article to learn:

  • The benefits of edotco’s echo RMS solution
  • edotco’s managed energy services and their different types
  • The benefits for towercos in negotiating with landowners on behalf of MNOs
  • How to standardise sales methodology across a regional footprint

edotco has a strong focus on innovation and service development, with the aim of providing the greatest value possible for their clients. We recently caught up with Wan Zainal, Chief Sales and Corporate Affairs Officer at edotco for an update on their latest offerings and product strategy.

TowerXchange: Please bring us up to date on your progress since we last spoke; what are the major milestones from the past year?

Wan Zainal, CSCAO, edotco:

From a sales and marketing perspective we have created a new tower product management division, which is instrumental in enhancing our services. Over the past year we have invested time and assets into new products to roll out in our various markets, and all of the new products tie back to our main aim of delivering optimal value to clients. The new products also reinforce and compliment our core build to suit (BTS) and co-location propositions.

One of these new products is our new RMS solution echo; we have productised it and are in the process of implementing it across our footprint of over 16,000 towers. This is a very challenging process on the ground, and we have different applications categorised by use case including locks and sites with cameras for security, environment management and energy and fuel consumption management through sensor monitoring. 

TowerXchange: What are some example achievements through edotco’s echo RMS solutions?

Wan Zainal, CSCAO, edotco:

echo is already starting to pay off. In Q4 there was an incident in Bangladesh where the system alerted us to a rapid drop in diesel levels at some sites. After engineers investigated we found that thieves had stolen approximately 360 litres of diesel. Thanks to the early warning we were able to respond quickly, catch the thieves who worked for one of our suppliers, and fired the perpetrators through the proper channels.

We’re productising this service to the point where we can offer it to other MNOs and towercos, and the applications are not limited to towers; we currently have a trial on a non-edotco site with an ISP in Bangladesh.

TowerXchange: What other products and services are you deploying across your footprint?

Wan Zainal, CSCAO, edotco:

We’re also investing in and developing new energy solutions including providing energy capex and opex recovery for pass-through services, providing full energy as a service, and providing green energy solutions.

Another interesting potential service is the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to inspect remote tower assets. We’re currently using this internally at edotco and we’re looking into opening it up to use by clients.

Our team is also starting to work with major landowners and property developers in some of our markets and signing exclusive deals, acting as telecommunication infrastructure partner for them. Traditionally MNOs would work with the major landowners, property developer to obtain permission to build towers individually which could result in parallel capacity. In this case what edotco does is plan out the telecommunication infrastructure need for the area or township, and help to market those sites to MNO and promote co-locations. We also work closely with the landowners on specific requirement for camouflage, special structure and in area that makes sense, BTS hotels to fully optimise space and resources. We’ve done this in Malaysia, and we’re trying to repeat this success in other markets like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Cambodia.

Our various products are starting to show results, particularly in Bangladesh where there has been a lot of focus on operations and internal projects to ensure delivery capabilities. The team in Bangladesh rolled out more than 2,000 towers in 2015, and that was up from 600 in 2014, which is amazing work.

The team in Bangladesh rolled out more than 2,000 towers in 2015, and that was up from 600 in 2014, which is amazing work

TowerXchange: How is your message to the market changing as edotco evolves?

Wan Zainal, CSCAO, edotco:

Our message to the market is consistent; we’re still focussed on increasing co-locations, and developing new products to enable connectivity.

We’re also standardising our sales methodology across the group and localising our services across different markets. We believe in standardisation to increase operational efficiency. The same principles apply across most markets with some tweaks to messaging and sales strategy in different markets; there are some differences between Malaysia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka that need to be taken into account. For example, in Bangladesh we need to look into how pricing works and we need to be competitive. In Malaysia rates are standard across the whole market, and in this market we need to focus on value add products like echo; That’s how we get our propositions across; the strategy varies from market to market.

Don’t miss the upcoming TowerXchange Meetup Asia being held on 13-14 December at the Marina Bay Sands,Singapore. For more information visit www.towerxchange.com/meetup/meetup-asia/


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