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Zayo’s Caruso Calls on Wireless Industry to Collaborate on 5G

May 23, 2017

By J. Sharpe Smith

Senior Editor, AGL eDigest

J. Sharpe SmithAfter wondering aloud why a wireline company was invited to speak at a wireless conference, Dan Caruso, president and CEO of Zayo, quickly noted the importance of wireline companies to the success of wireless companies in the deployment of 5G in his keynote at the Wireless Infrastructure Show today in Orlando, Florida. In fact, collaboration between different factions will be the key for 5G to be successful, he added.

Caruso said there will be many winners in 5G deployment, including wireless carriers, tower companies, fiber companies, cable TV providers, data centers, and content and web concerns, but only if it happens quickly.

“With 5G, the big prize is that it happens sooner rather than later. The quicker it is deployed and the more pronounced the better it is for everyone one in this room,” Caruso said. “It is not about [crowning a single] a winner. Everyone wins if it happens on a widespread basis and more quickly.”

Making sure that deployment is less expensive and more rapid with strong economics for all participants, the industry must make the decision to work together, according to Caruso. The key finding ways to work together during the deployment stage, as well as ways to make it less intrusive.

He admitted that collaboration is not always easy. Once there are three or four parties in a room, it can be difficult for them to agree on the various aspects of deployment. Nonetheless, Caruso said it is worth it to for the various factions to come together to consider the different options.

“We can leverage our existing assets, whether it is existing towers, existing DAS systems or existing fiber,” he said. “We can leverage construction cycles; so instead of, in parallel, rebuilding the same network over and over again, we can collaborate during the construction cycle itself so we accomplish multiple goals at once.”

The wireless industry must figure out how to play together in the rights-of-way to speed up the deployment process to make it less obtrusive, according to Caruso.

“The wireless carriers could work more closely with each other, and it would make it easier on everyone, including themselves,” he said. “If you have a design spec that is slightly different from the other carrier, which requires multiple networks to be built separately in the same geographic area, it is more expensive and takes longer for everyone involved, including municipalities.”

Caruso said that the wireless infrastructure industry also has a responsibility to work with each other in the rights-of-way, taking advantage of each other’s strengths.

“We don’t have to do everything ourselves, the full turnkey package. We can do our piece of it working with others. We can provide the fiber, and others provide the poles and the access,” he said. “Are we creative with one other? Constructive with one another? Can we find opportunities to build out the infrastructure each of us playing our particular roles in a way that happens more quickly and spend less money?”

Keynotes Show Variety of Infrastructure Opportunities

The keynotes during the morning of the first day of the Wireless Infrastructure Show, the annual conference of the Wireless Infrastructure Association, represented various of aspects of communications infrastructure, from John Horn, president and CEO, of Ingenu, who spoke about the internet of things, to Michal Poth, CEO, FirstNet, who covered the first responders broadband network, and Buddy Dyer, mayor of Orlando, Florida, who briefly spoke on his city’s commitment to being a smart city.

The annual conference keynotes and sessions are representative of WIA’s involvement in fiber, smart cities, the IoT, as well as towers, DAS and small cells, according to WIA president and CEO Jonathan Adelstein.

“WIA represents the entire ecosystem of wireless infrastructure, which is becoming increasingly complex as it grows to meet the data demands that are exploding,” Adelstein told AGL eDigest. “We believe that bringing everyone together at WIA benefits the entire wireless industry because we are the hub where all those different components included in the growing networks come together.”