TPG Telecom used an ex-US military Blackhawk helicopter to replace the head of a 4G mobile tower in South Australia with a new 5G tower head weighing 2.7 tonnes.
The telco said in a LinkedIn post that it used the helicopter - “named ‘Patches’ (thanks to its yet to be repainted exterior)” - due to the site’s limited accessibility.
“The tower’s location meant the only access point to replace the tower head was via a carpark, which wasn’t able to support a 300-tonne crane,” the telco wrote.
It added that air traffic had “to be redirected around the site due to its proximity to Adelaide airport” during the replacement operation, which occurred last Sunday in Thebarton.
The project also involved a team of seven riggers and was run in conjunction with Nokia and Apex Communication Technologies.
The telco said the chopper-aided tower head replacement was an example of “the innovative thinking displayed by our dedicated Field Ops team” as TPG Telecom continues to expand its 5G network.