Transforming aging Telecom Towers into 5G Powerhouses Through Innovative Solutions


Upgrading a legacy tower network in a ‘Just In Time fashion’ in line with customer demand is a core strategy for Towercos and a primary skill of the Delmec team.

In a world driven by connectivity, upgrading and expanding telecom tower infrastructure has become a necessity to enhance investment returns. The challenges of transitioning aging MNO tower assets from operational expenses to capital assets are substantial. In the case of this project, we worked to  revitalise telecom towers by breathing new life into legacy infrastructure for 5G Expansion.

As TowerCos  look to increase the capacity of former MNO owned assets to support multiple MNO tenants, a fresh approach is needed. Delmec’s ingenious strategy ensures maximum asset utilization with a smart capital investment plan. The model hinges on swiftly implementing a tailored design when tenant interest arises.

Challenges Overcome:

Irish tower co’s have grappled with the same obstacles as fellow TowerCos across Europe – a massive deployment of new telecom broadcast equipment for multiple mobile operators onto existing towers. The surge in 5G and 4G densification rollout placed immense capacity demands on an already strained infrastructure network. Compounding the challenge, Ireland’s stringent building permit process necessitates structure sharing due to prolonged planning procedures and public resistance to new infrastructure.

Delmec’s Innovative Solution:

Delmec took a comprehensive approach to address our clients’ challenges, offering three progressive stages of site rectification:

  1. No-Cost/Low-Cost Option: Leveraging a mix of in-house telecoms and structural engineers, Delmec reconfigured active equipment, assessed line of sight (LOS) surveys, and optimized antenna selections to support additional tenants.
  • Mid Option: Focused upgrades bolstered the weakest structure elements to match the capacity of their surroundings, catering to current demands.
  • Future-Proofed Option: Comprehensive upgrades, replacements, or modifications to all tower components ensured the site’s readiness for current and future demands.

Project Outcomes:

Over 50% of the  critical sites in our customers Stage 1 MNO addition project can now accommodate a third tenant with minimal rectification leading to additional revenue of €7,000 per site per annum for costs between €750 and €2,500 per site The balance of the sites were rectified with a mid-cost option costing €5-20k . In total this single tenant addition resulted in a substantial €511k of added annual revenue for our client. With an ROI of sub 12months. This does not allow for any potential revenue from additional capacity over one additional tenant created as part of the works. .  

Delmec’s innovative approach reduced site visits by 62%, minimised steel and concrete costs, and achieved a significant reduction in tenant addition expenses compared to tower replacement.

Our meticulous survey and documentation approach led to improved data management, generating long-term savings through reduced surveys and site visits for current and future works.

With environmental consciousness in mind, our strategy reduced heavy vehicle site visits by 62%, leading to a reduction of 2,020 tonnes of carbon emissions across 73 sites.

Sustainability and Beyond:

Our strategy not only minimised the environmental impact of structural capacity upgrades but also extended the service life of structures through upgrades tailored for future equipment loading. This aligned seamlessly with our customers CSR policies and significantly reduced network outages, ensuring a seamless customer experience.


Delmec’s innovative approach breathed new life into aging telecom tower infrastructure, enabling TowerCos to boost tenancy ratios, revenue, and environmental sustainability. Through their unique blend of engineering prowess and forward-thinking solutions, Delmec unlocked the potential of legacy infrastructure, proving that with the right strategy, even aging towers can become cutting-edge 5G powerhouses.

Delivering Innovative Streetworks Solutions for Enhanced Cellular Coverage

Our clients sought to establish high-capacity macro sites in locations that were previously inaccessible or not cost-effective for conventional site types. The objective was to enhance cellular coverage in underserved areas and provide seamless connectivity to communities.

What We Did: Project Summary

Delmec embarked on a mission to design, fabricate, and install customised streetworks solutions that seamlessly integrated complex mobile hardware while harmonising with the urban environment. The guiding principle was to create a solution that was “Simply Clever” – straightforward in appearance yet sophisticated in its capabilities. This involved addressing the following key aspects:

  • Simplicity on the Outside:

Designing structures that can deploy a trisector quadband antenna at up to 23m inconspicuously in plain sight, minimising public attention.

Compact and discreet multi-utility cabinets replacing multiple traditional cabinets or full porta cabins, blending into the streetscape.

  • Clever on the Inside:

Incorporating multi-band antennas, tri-sector configurations with 36 antennas, 230V AC and 48V DC power systems, fibre and RF transmission, GPS synchronization, climate control, and alarms.

Balancing the needs of various stakeholders, including telecoms (TowerCos and operators) and non-telecoms entities (local authorities, neighbours).

How We Did It: Our Approach and Tools

Delmec harnessed its diverse and skilled engineering team, which encompassed structural, civil, manufacturing, electrical, planning, and radio engineering expertise. Our approach involved:

  • Developing a comprehensive, in-house team with overlapping skills to overcome the segmented nature of telecoms.
  • Implementing trial sites with simple configurations, gradually evolving to more complex configurations as solution acceptance increased.
  • Offering a turnkey solution encompassing all site elements within a single package, streamlining deployment.

Overcoming Challenges:

Delmec encountered challenges in convincing stakeholders about the value proposition of the solution and proving the efficacy of deploying shorter structures closer to consumers. Trial sites were instrumental in validating performance and community acceptance.

Unexpected Benefits:

Pre-rigging the solution in the warehouse facilitated faster on-site deployment, minimizing disruptions to the local community during installation.

Winning the Project:

Delmec’s existing relationship with the client and a reputation for innovative problem-solving were pivotal in securing the project. The evolution of streetworks solutions from rooftop solutions also contributed to establishing credibility.

Project Duration:

The project was a result of ongoing development since 2018, with various iterations leading to the deployment of 23m quad-tenant 5G solutions.

Impact on the Client:

The final solution became the preferred build-to-suit choice for clients, offering reliable deployment, high radio performance, and a benchmark for coverage solutions. Previously challenging coverage blackspots now have access to high-capacity broadband, 4G, and 5G coverage.


TowerCos took the lead in solution deployment, supported by Delmec’s technical expertise, along with partners such as Alpha Antennas and planning consultants JRA.

Navigating New Markets:

Expansion into new markets required collaborative agreements between operators and TowerCos to share the deployment of passive and active solution elements. This approach led to reduced overall rollout costs.


Delmec’s journey from innovative trial sites to robust, efficient streetworks solutions exemplifies their commitment to addressing connectivity challenges with creativity and expertise. By blending advanced technology with thoughtful design, they have unlocked previously inaccessible areas for reliable, high-speed connectivity.