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Axiom Acquisition Gives ExteNet Another Foothold in Enterprise Space

By J. Sharpe Smith

Felipe Alvarez

ExteNet Systems’ acquisition of MetroFiber d/b/a Axiom Fiber Networks, adds 20 miles of 864-strand fiber-count network in lower Manhattan, supplementing the fiber-optic network that supports the firm’s +2,000 nodes constructed or under construction in the New York metropolitan area.

“Clearly one of the major components of our Manhattan build is the fiber plant,” said Ross Manire, ExteNet president and CEO. “Axiom’s fiber is going to allow us to move forward with our distributed network deployments, which require a lot of fiber. We pull multiple strands to each node, so we need a lot of fiber in Manhattan. That is what originally got us interested in them.”

But there was more to Axiom Fiber Networks than just fiber. The firm provided high performance telecom infrastructure services over its dark fiber network to enterprise customers including, financial firms, government agencies, healthcare providers, educational institutions and media organizations.

“As we got further into the due diligence process, we decided to take advantage of the expertise of Felipe Alvarez [previously CEO of Axiom] and his team to help us monetize the fiber plant in our existing build areas with New York as the priority. That was the added benefit that we saw in this opportunity.”

Axiom goes deep inside the enterprise to provide companies with dark fiber and custom network solutions. With the deal closed, ExteNet can pursue new vectors in the enterprise space.

“As it pertains to optical network solutions, which are focused on the enterprise space, we weren’t doing it with the focus it requires,” Manire said. “The benefit of having Felipe and his team on board is that they come from this environment and they know what it takes, they know the system requirements. They will do it on a focused basis.”

The Axiom network, which has online five major carrier hotels, allows interconnection and connectivity to the cloud. It also gives the firm the ability to put together solutions that interconnect buildings with edge devices at the carrier hotels.

“We have been looking at the convergence of the wireless infrastructure providers and pure telecom. The line is completely blurred,” Manire said. “There is a drive to use fiber, to densify; to push fiber deeper and deeper into buildings. It is an interesting time to further drive that convergence.”

ExteNet began deploying providing cellular coverage with outdoor DAS technology in 2005 and in 2008 moved into in-building wireless. In 2016, it expanded into enterprise communications infrastructure with the purchase of Telecommunications Properties Inc. and began to manage the fiber network inside the building. Additionally, micro data centers to facilitate tenants moving to the cloud, or third parties moving content to the edge of the network were added to the portfolio.

The wireless industry has been wrestling with the challenge of providing services to enterprises too small to warrant a carrier-funded DAS or small-cell system. The acquisition of Axiom is another evolution for ExteNet, adding more products targeted at the enterprise.

J. Sharpe Smith is the Senior Editor/eDigest. He joined AGL in 2007 as contributing editor to the magazine and as editor of eDigest email newsletter. He has 27 years of experience writing about industrial communications, paging, cellular, small cells, DAS and towers. Previously, he worked for the Enterprise Wireless Alliance as editor of the Enterprise Wireless Magazine. Before that, he edited the Wireless Journal for CTIA and he began his wireless journalism career with Phillips Publishing, now Access Intelligence. Sharpe Smith may be contacted at: [email protected].