Ramboll: Engineering Innovations to Strengthen Telecom Infrastructure

Pankaj Sachdeva, Country Market Director
The Indian telecom industry has undergone a series of transformational changes in the past decade and is fast emerging as one of the key driving forces behind the country’s socio-economic development. With the largescale commercialization of 4G services and more and more mobile operators successfully adopting innovative models, India is at the cusp of a data revolution, which in turn is fueling the demand for additional sites and towers within the country. Corroborating this fact is the latest research reports which forecast a significant growth in the requirement for towers in India in the coming years, with the development being largely attributed to the increasing data consumption, growing competition among operators and the digital push from the government. However, even with these advancements, the telecom industry is still being plagued by challenges with respect to operator consolidation, infrastructure sharing, traffic off-loading and the unavailability of power and fiber on tower sites, and the challenges related to electromagnetic radiations are also slowing down progress. Perfectly understanding these limitations, Copenhagen headquartered Ramboll steps forward to address them with a complete suite of services for telecom infrastructure design, construction, management, and consultancy, to bolster the country’s Telecom industry.

Since its inception in 1945, Ramboll, a globally reputed engineering, design, and consultancy company, has been providing inspiring and exacting solutions to create a noticeable impact for its clients, end-users and the society as a whole. With a prominent global presence of 300 offices spanning across 35 countries and its principal Indian offices spread wide across the country, the company delivers sustainable design, innovation and build ability across the segments of telecom, energy, buildings, transport, planning & urban design, water, environment & health, and management consulting. Ramboll employs more than 13,000 experts globally and is present prominently in India as well as the Nordics, UK, North America, Continental Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. “Ramboll is a company driven by a purpose to bring sustainable solutions where people and nature can flourish. Our ambitions, everyday behaviour, and dedication towards creating value for our key stakeholders have all been derived from this purpose,” explains Pankaj Sachdeva, Country Market Director - Telecom and Energy, Ramboll.

Among the various segments in which Ramboll operates, the company has dedicated extensive focus to the telecom sector as Ramboll believes the Indian telecommunications industry to be one of the fastest growing and most competitive in the world. To meet the dynamic infrastructure needs of this rapidly growing market, Ramboll offers a wide range of telecom services to allow businesses to explore their full potential within optimized costs and resources. These solutions not only equip clients with significant reductions in cost and effort but also enable end-to-end technical support and project management. The company’s expansive telecom suite thus encompasses services for analysis, design and delivery of masts, towers and poles, smart site solutions, rapid deployment solutions, camouflaging and individual solutions, measurement of electromagnetic radiation, tower assessment service, transmission line towers/pole design solutions, smart city solutions, inspection, maintenance and upgrading of telecom sites, software tools and engineering services for telecom project management and management consultancy services.

Ramboll’s clients are offered a step-wise approach, as they underlay a strong emphasis on research and engineering services to deliver unique solutions that are beneficial on technical, economic and social grounds. Although Ramboll’s solutions are optimized and cost-effective, they always adhere to the basic principle of maintaining high quality standards and best practices. Ramboll’s quality assurance team closely monitors processes and stage wise inspections to ensure that there are no defects.

Additionally, Ramboll adds value by contributing to the various committees on international codes and standards and chairs the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures(IASS)on towers and masts.

A Distinct Design Philosophy to Bridge InfrastructureGaps
With the country now witnessing a surge in demand for data services, there is an increased need to bridge the network coverage gaps across the telecom industry with new tower deployments. However, the road to tower construction isn’t always a smooth one and is often hampered by challenges with respect to land acquisition, low footprint sites, tower aesthetics, stringent timelines and the associated cost implications. Acknowledging these different concerns as well as the pivotal requirement for more capacity and coverage within the industry, Ramboll endeavours to address them with its cost-efficient and maintenance-optimized designs of guyed masts, towers and monopoles. Having been heavily engaged in the analysis, design, and construction of masts and towers since its formation in 1945, Ramboll employs its well-known design philosophy that focuses extensively on the reduction of total site costs and optimization of masts and towers with regards to steel usage, foundations, logistics and installation time. Ramboll’s designs thereby encompass sustainable telecom solutions that are futuristic, including tubular towers, compact solutions, rapid deployment solutions, monopoles, camouflaging solutions and tower assessment services. We have developed compact solutions which incorporate optimum utilisation of the site, by building an elevated equipment platform within the footprint of the tower, which is designed to host and support outdoor radio and power unit.

“Ramboll can undertake complex engineering services and special analysis that may be required within telecom infrastructures,” affirms Pankaj. “While we optimize our masts and towers to minimize wind load, foundations, logistics and installation time, we always adhere to the basic principle of maintaining high-quality standards and best practices,” he goes on to add.

Ramboll’s tower designs are approved by SERCand/ or IITs; these tower designs strictly follow the guidelines and parameters mentioned in the design standards.

Sustainable Tower Design and Construction
Operating in an industry that has turned increasingly cost-conscious today, Ramboll has been continuously innovating its offerings to deliver cost-effective solutions to its clients while adhering to the
elevated industry standards. Consequently, in order to meet the changing requirements of telecom operators, the company’s experts have developed tubular profile towers, where the use of tower structural steel and foundation is optimized to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and thereby reduce the carbon footprint,to positively impact the environment. Furthermore, the company also provides compact solutions to ensure optimum utilization of the site as well as rapid deployment solutions which enable the foundation and installation of towers within an optimized time frame, to help clients derive a faster return on their investments. Ramboll also offers camouflage solutions to meet the aesthetic requirements of tower sites in alignment with their location, historical values, and local traditions. These solutions include designs such as lotus monopoles, palm, coconut and pine trees which can aesthetically blend in with the surroundings of the tower site while hosting the telecom equipment within the footprint of the tower itself.

To meet the dynamic infrastructure needs of this rapidly growing market, Ramboll offers a wide range of telecom services to allow businesses to explore their full potential within optimized costs and resources

In addition to optimizing tower designs and construction, the company also undertakes tower assessment activities to address the challenges of network coverage and capacity gaps. Through this service, Ramboll ensures that the existing tower base and available resources are utilized to their maximum capacity, thereby conserving natural resources in the form of steel and civil foundations, and also creating a peak in tenancy utilization at tower sites. The company has also dedicated steady focus to the development of software for the design and analysis of towers. With a number of innovative engineering software solutions including iTOWERS TL, iTOWERSmw, iSWITCHYARD and RamBase for the design of telecom and transmission structures, Ramboll has emerged as a premium software services provider in this niche area.

In a unique Public Private Partnership(PPP) between Department of Telecommunications(DoT), Pan India Telecom Service Providers and Ramboll in India, National Electro Magnetic Frequency (EMF) Portal brings together embers of public, telecom service providers and DoT regulatory enforement cells to create a transparent and effective process to ensure regulatory compliance of EMF guidelines at tower sites.

Empowering the Government’s Smart Cities Mission
Today, the world over, there is significant effort to develop smart cities with sustainable and intelligent living environments. Since 2015, India has also taken on this mission to harness technology as a means to improve core infrastructure and bring smarter outcomes for its citizens. Stepping forward to bolster this mission, Ramboll expands its capabilities beyond providing telecommunications infrastructure to bring a complete suite of multi-functional smart city solutions. With versatile capabilities and functions for every city and its people, Ramboll’s smart city suite includes intelligent poles with a provision for cameras, environmental sensors, billboards, charging station and many more. With special attention dedicated to camouflaging and aesthetics, Ramboll’s solutions employ highly durable and UV resistant material while camouflaging along with smart city solutions in various colours and designs to match the requirements of the surroundings. As an active enabler of the Smart Cities Initiative, Ramboll has already implemented its solutions at some municipal cities, where the company has deployed it’s smart pole solutions.

Future Engagements
Having operated in India for the last 20 years, Ramboll has grown immensely over this period and has emerged as a multidisciplinary solution provider that has been serving clients locally and globally across Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. With its large portfolio of offerings, Ramboll has been able to attract some of the largest players in the telecom industry and offers its services to the entire client base of the Indian telecom industry in one way or the other.

From engineering innovations for telecom infrastructure and smart cities to building a National Electromagnetic Frequency Portal(NEP)for the nation, Ramboll has carved a niche for itself and established a stronghold in this domain. As a testament to these capabilities, the company has received several accolades over the years, the recent ones include the ET Telecom Award in 2017 and the Graham Bell Award in 2018 for innovation in Smart Cities and Tower Assessment Services. Leveraging this expertise, the company aims to keep its clients at the center of its focus and empower them with new and innovative site solutions and engineering services, in the years to come.

Innovative Software for Infrastructure Design& Management
iTOWERS:Designed by Ramboll for the analysis and design of self-supporting lattice towers, iTOWERS is a user-friendly software that is commercially available on an annual subscription basis. As an advanced software for both transmission line towers and telecommunication towers, this tool allows its users to view the complete tower design and calculations in the preliminary bid stage itself.Furthermore, the software’s exhaustive pattern library enables easy geometry generation, standardization of various tower designs, and checking of existing designs/towers for current loadings and additional capacity.

iSWITCHYARD: A software tool developed by Ramboll to assist engineers in performing analysis, design and optimization studies of switchyard structures

RamBase: Developed for the validation and technical assessment of a large number of sites across India, RamBase was tailored to manage data and information as well as for building telecom infrastructure networks. With provisions for agile and flexible project management, configurable milestones, workflows and project progress tracking, this software stores documents and communications, generates reports and analytics and is also programmed to send updates to mobile phones.

RamSite TM 2.0: Based on over 15 years of experience in supporting telecom operators across different countries, RamSiteTM 2.0 has been built as a strong system for managing roll out and operations across telecommunications projects.