As part of the New Deal project, initiated by the French government in 2018, to cover all white areas in France by 2030, Axione was mobilized by Bouygues Telecom to pilot the installation of a radio tower in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region, in order to meet the territory’s connectivity needs.

Located in New-Aquitaine, Sainte-Engrâce is a village of nearly 200 inhabitants* whose specificity is its caving activity which attracts many tourists every year. This isolated village has no mobile network. Thus, the installation of a radio tower will enhance the attractiveness of this area by offering 3G, 4G, 5G coverage to meet the emergencies and needs of residents and tourists.

Axione, in charge of the project, managed the heli-lift operation to transport the tower to an area inaccessible to conventional machines.

Two employees from Axione’s Saint-Jean branch orchestrated the operation, coordinating civil engineering, helicopter piloting, manufacturing and delivery of the tower and fitting out the radio equipment.

Mehdi HIMER, the project manager, accompanied by Marine Liautaud, a trainee at the end of his studies, had the role of piloting the site from its preparation to its final delivery.

An operation in 3 phases

The work was then divided into 3 stages. First, a 26m3 reinforced concrete slab was poured to support the tower. It required 56 helicopter rotations between the drop-zone, where the router truck was located, and the construction site.

The second step was to install the tower. Weighing more than two tons and measuring 15 meters in height, the pylon consisted of two metal sections that had to be lifted, installed and assembled, all by heli-lift.

Finally, the last phase corresponded to the installation of antennas and radio modules. These equipments will then allow the transmission, the reception and the treatment of the radio waves.

This helicopter operation, commissioned by Bouygues Telecom, is a first in my professional career and makes me proud to be part of Axione. Contributing to the ambitious New Deal project is an important mission. I would like to thank the negotiator, Mr Hugues Brunaud, the mayor of Sainte-Engrâce, the designer and all the subcontractors and partners who have worked to make this operation a success.

Mehdi Himer, Axione Project Manager

Did you know ?

The New Deal project is a plan put in place by the French government in 2018 in partnership with operators aimed at guaranteeing high-performance mobile coverage throughout the country in order to reduce the digital inequalities that may remain between territories. This project takes shape, for example, through the installation of 4G radio towers in rural areas.

*Source : In 2018 from Insee.