Malaysian-based Meraque expands its drone services to Philippines with 3k telco tower inspection deal

  • Philippine expansion adds to Middle East & African expansion in 2022
  • Added telco infrastructure inspection to its solutions suite this year

Meraque site inspectors on the ground in the Philippines.

Malaysian based automation solutions startup, Meraque Services Sdn Bhd has started to expand across the Southeast Asia market beginning with a pilot inspections project for a telco infrastructure company in the Philippines covering 3,100 towers.

According to the company, it has a team conducting site audits through unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveillance. For the past few weeks automated flight missions have been conducted around several key sites across various provinces in South Luzon, Philippines including Mindanao, Visayas, Metro Manila and Palawan.

The Meraque AI software is able to perform a completely autonomous data capture of towers using high-resolution inspection of the equipment and helping with future upgrade planning. The data allows telecommunication companies to monitor towers, to inspect, simulate, forecast and improve performance remotely, without having personnel present at each tower site. 

Meraque notes that more telecommunication companies are looking towards drone-powered solutions to monitor their infrastructure. With most sites located in either rural or areas with rough terrain such as on top of hills surrounded by trees or on buildings, drones make for expeditious solutions.

Meraque’s inspection solution don’t disrupt tower performance, cause service downtime or risks the lives of maintenance workers having to climb high platforms. 

Md Razalee Ismail, CEO of Meraque, said: “As we end 2022 and reflect back on the year, we have definitely accomplished tremendous results with our global expansion and strengthening our technological capabilities.” Meraque has expanded to the Middle East and African markets  and now to Southeast Asia.

Expansion plans to Indonesia and Cambodia in 2023 are already underway with strategic partnerships soon to be announced. Within the next 5 years, Meraque says it hopes to run inspections on over 20,000 telecommunication towers across Southeast Asia as well as in India and Nepa and is in talks with some Philippine companies to potentially acquire them or form joint ventures. 

“Meraque is at the cusp of a high-potential growth industry and are powering through at breakneck speed. We look forward to forging more partnerships with companies across Southeast Asia as well as across the globe to truly transform the telecommunications infrastructure industry and shape the future of connectivity,” Razalee added.

Previously focused on hybrid drones for agriculture, enterprise software and hardware solutions for palm plantation management and commercial drone delivery, Meraque added telco infrastructure inspection in its solutions suite this year. 

It also built its first autonomous ground vehicle (AGV), the Robotic Agro in Complex Environment (RACE), to reduce manpower reliance and improve fertiliser spraying consistency in oil palm plantations.

Meraque is currently the 18th ranked drone technology service provider in the world in 2022 by Drone Industry Insights, a Market Research consultant based in Germany. The drone industry has captured a steadily rising audience with the global drone market forecasted to achieve US$41.3 billion (RM172.7 billion) in 2026 according to the Drone Market Report 2021-2026.


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