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Steve Pusey Joins BAI Communications as Chairman

Steve Pusey

Communications infrastructure provider BAI Communications said it has appointed Steve Pusey as chairman of its board of directors. The company said Pusey has more than three decades of experience working with, and leading, technology businesses in various parts of the world.

Pusey previously served as the group chief technology officer of Vodafone, the world’s second largest telecommunications company at the time, a role he held until 2015, according to BAI Communications. In this leadership position, the company said, he played a pivotal role in defining and leading Vodafone Group’s technology strategy for networks and IT operations globally, taking Vodafone to a leading role in the network space across its active markets.

As a board member and adviser, Pusey has worked with some of the world’s biggest and most innovative technology businesses including Arm, Centrica, FireEye and GlobalLogic, BAI Communications said. In these roles, the company said, he has helped lead organizational transformation, define strategies that unlock and amplify significant commercial growth and provided leadership and counsel on global expansion programs.

At BAI Communications, Pusey will provide strategic leadership and advice for the business, including support and counsel to the BAI leadership team, the company said.

“Steve Pusey is one of the most accomplished people in our industry,” said BAI Group CEO, Igor Leprince. “Throughout his time at Vodafone, his leadership, relationships, and deep capability in growing technology businesses delivered phenomenal performance and results for the business. We are extremely proud and fortunate to have him join our board of directors as chair, particularly at such an exciting time for the BAI business as we continue to build growth momentum. His knowledge, experience and support for the business, and our leadership team, will be invaluable as we continue to work to enhance our value proposition to our customers especially the mobile network operators.”

Pusey said that BAI is on the cusp of huge expansion as the connected infrastructure and smart city agenda continue to draw the attention and prioritization of cities and businesses around the world.

CPP Investments’ senior managing director, Europe regional head and head of direct private equity as well as non-executive director on the BAI board of directors, Max Biagosch, said that Pusey’s track record and extensive industry experience would provide strategic leadership to the BAI team.

Pusey will begin his role as BAI Communications chairman at the end of March, taking over from Bart Vogel, a non-executive director who has been acting as the interim chairman since late January 2022.

BAI Communications Grows U.S. Infrastructure Business With Mobilitie Acquisition

By Don Bishop

Click here to play video.
Igor Leprince (left) and Don Bishop.

 

Combining BAI Communications and Mobilitie

A multinational communications infrastructure company, BAI Communications, expects to close a transaction in the third quarter that would grow its business mostly in the United States, with potential for international expansion. The pending acquisition of Mobilitie would bring to BAI Communications 10,000 small cells in 45 states, 300 macro towers in 14 states, 220 venues in 39 states, and agreements to provide wireless communications to the public transit systems in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a statement from BAI Communications.

“The acquisition of Mobilitie fits perfectly with our growth strategy, scope, scale and geography,” said Igor Leprince, BAI Communications’ group chief executive officer, in an interview with AGL eDigest. “It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity because it aligns almost perfectly with our core business as a provider of neutral-host communication services and our expertise in transit. Mobilitie’s scope is almost exactly where our portfolio and world scope is.”

The acquisition would give BAI Communications a national scale and a presence across the entire United States, Leprince said.

Igor Leprince, group CEO of BAI Communications, about the company’s acquisition of Mobilitie: ‘It’s an acquisition to help us to be more effective in delivering the benefit of neutral-host infrastructure.’

“Right now, we are present through Transit Wireless largely around New York and in the East Coast, but Mobilitie will significantly accelerate our development in the region,” Leprince said. “Additionally, it will enhance our offering that we have in key global markets. It’s an acquisition to help us to be more effective in delivering the benefit of neutral-host infrastructure. A benefit also — for Mobilitie — comes from additional funding, additional capability that we bring from around the world, and fulfills our ambition for growth as a neutral host and for growth in the United States.”

Although Mobilitie has 300 towers, a small number in comparison with the tens of thousands of towers several other companies each own in the United States, Leprince said that BAI operates about 700 towers in Australia for mobile network operators and broadcasters. “This is absolutely part of our business,” he said “That’s an important part of the portfolio we’re acquiring from Mobilitie.”

About BAI Communications, Leprince said, “We have been more well-known for our expertise in transit systems and underground, as well as slightly above ground, which is more about small cells for connectivity in a dense, urban type of environment. Clearly, for us, this is an interesting part of the portfolio of Mobilitie. We are as excited about the towers as we are about the rest of the portfolio of Mobilitie.”

Elaborating on Mobilitie’s appeal, Leprince pointed to the opportunity for growth that the acquisition represents.

Gary Jabara, founder and chairman at Mobilitie, said the company has the foundation needed to accelerate its impact on a global scale.

“For me, it’s growing the portfolio that Mobilitie has, including venues, small cells and towers, and deploying the contract dimension,” Leprince said. “For example, the contract for the San Francisco Bay Area is one that will be deployed in the years to come. The interesting thing is the fact that we can boost the growth of this portfolio outside the United States, using our presence and experience in the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong.”

The BAI Communications executive said that the company is a strong believer in the power of private networks, another reason the Mobilitie acquisition is appealing.

“Private networks are to some extent not too different from some of the big venues that BAI and Mobilitie have deployed,” Leprince said. “So I think that might be the ‘gem’ from this acquisition, the growth trajectory that Mobilitie has, but with the additional growth that the combination with BAI could bring. That’s what we’re excited about.”

In the transaction, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, Shamrock Capital, would be selling its ownership stake in Mobilitie to BAI Communications. According to Shamrock, it previously invested $100 million in equity capital with Mobilitie.

Gary Jabara, founder and chairman at Mobilitie, said, “Mobilitie has grown exponentially following Shamrock’s investment in 2013, providing the financial support required to scale nationally and fuel our expansion into 5G. Together, we have firmly established Mobilitie’s position as the market leader in 5G wireless infrastructure and have the foundation needed to accelerate our impact on a global scale. We’re excited for the next chapter of our growth as part of BAI Communications.”

CPP Investments’ head of portfolio value creation and non-executive director on the BAI Communications board of directors, Max Biagosch, about Mobilitie: ‘It is a true enhancement of our broader portfolio, extending our investment in digital infrastructure.’

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, known as CPP Investments, owns 86 percent of BAI Communications, which has its official headquarters in Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia, and assets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong. The company grew from a business known as Broadcast Australia, which today delivers 126 million broadcast hours to 99 percent of the Australian population and which remains a significant part of the BAI Communications group of companies.

CPP Investments’ head of portfolio value creation and non-executive director on the BAI Communications board of directors, Max Biagosch, said, “This acquisition is an exciting and dynamic move for the BAI business and represents an attractive opportunity for CPP Investments to increase its financial commitments and generate long-term sustainable returns for our contributors and beneficiaries. It is a true enhancement of our broader portfolio, extending our investment in digital infrastructure, which is critical to people and communities around the world as our lives become increasingly dependent on connectivity.”

In Leprince’s view, there is more to come for BAI Communications.

“The deals with Transport for London and with Mobilitie demonstrate our ambition for growth and becoming a leader in 5G neutral host infrastructure,” he said. (See “London Selects BAI Communications for Neutral-host Communications Infrastructure Concession.”)

“We don’t want to stop here,” Leprince said. “We want to focus on delivering on these deals, delivering on these organic and non-organic wins. In addition, we want to continue to push more. We are fortunate to have ambitious and supportive shareholders. We want to continue to drive this neutral-host solution for mobile network operators in small cells, venues, private networks, smart cities and fiber, and drive our transit communications business. What we have done is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more than we can do for mobile network operators and transit agencies.”

_____________________

Don Bishop is executive editor and associate publisher of AGL Magazine.

Also see:

“Neutral-host Infrastructure, Small Cells to Underpin Smart City Applications”

“London Selects BAI Communications for Neutral-host Communications Infrastructure Concession”

 

 

BAI Communications Grows U.S. Infrastructure Business With Mobilitie Acquisition

By Don Bishop

Click here to play video.
Igor Leprince (left) and Don Bishop.

 

Combining BAI Communications and Mobilitie

A multinational communications infrastructure company, BAI Communications, expects to close a transaction in the third quarter that would grow its business mostly in the United States, with potential for international expansion. The pending acquisition of Mobilitie would bring to BAI Communications 10,000 small cells in 45 states, 300 macro towers in 14 states, 220 venues in 39 states, and agreements to provide wireless communications to the public transit systems in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a statement from BAI Communications.

“The acquisition of Mobilitie fits perfectly with our growth strategy, scope, scale and geography,” said Igor Leprince, BAI Communications’ group chief executive officer, in an interview with AGL eDigest. “It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity because it aligns almost perfectly with our core business as a provider of neutral-host communication services and our expertise in transit. Mobilitie’s scope is almost exactly where our portfolio and world scope is.”

The acquisition would give BAI Communications a national scale and a presence across the entire United States, Leprince said.

Igor Leprince, group CEO of BAI Communications, about the company’s acquisition of Mobilitie: ‘It’s an acquisition to help us to be more effective in delivering the benefit of neutral-host infrastructure.’

“Right now, we are present through Transit Wireless largely around New York and in the East Coast, but Mobilitie will significantly accelerate our development in the region,” Leprince said. “Additionally, it will enhance our offering that we have in key global markets. It’s an acquisition to help us to be more effective in delivering the benefit of neutral-host infrastructure. A benefit also — for Mobilitie — comes from additional funding, additional capability that we bring from around the world, and fulfills our ambition for growth as a neutral host and for growth in the United States.”

Although Mobilitie has 300 towers, a small number in comparison with the tens of thousands of towers several other companies each own in the United States, Leprince said that BAI operates about 700 towers in Australia for mobile network operators and broadcasters. “This is absolutely part of our business,” he said “That’s an important part of the portfolio we’re acquiring from Mobilitie.”

About BAI Communications, Leprince said, “We have been more well-known for our expertise in transit systems and underground, as well as slightly above ground, which is more about small cells for connectivity in a dense, urban type of environment. Clearly, for us, this is an interesting part of the portfolio of Mobilitie. We are as excited about the towers as we are about the rest of the portfolio of Mobilitie.”

Elaborating on Mobilitie’s appeal, Leprince pointed to the opportunity for growth that the acquisition represents.

Gary Jabara, founder and chairman at Mobilitie, said the company has the foundation needed to accelerate its impact on a global scale.

“For me, it’s growing the portfolio that Mobilitie has, including venues, small cells and towers, and deploying the contract dimension,” Leprince said. “For example, the contract for the San Francisco Bay Area is one that will be deployed in the years to come. The interesting thing is the fact that we can boost the growth of this portfolio outside the United States, using our presence and experience in the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong.”

The BAI Communications executive said that the company is a strong believer in the power of private networks, another reason the Mobilitie acquisition is appealing.

“Private networks are to some extent not too different from some of the big venues that BAI and Mobilitie have deployed,” Leprince said. “So I think that might be the ‘gem’ from this acquisition, the growth trajectory that Mobilitie has, but with the additional growth that the combination with BAI could bring. That’s what we’re excited about.”

In the transaction, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, Shamrock Capital, would be selling its ownership stake in Mobilitie to BAI Communications. According to Shamrock, it previously invested $100 million in equity capital with Mobilitie.

Gary Jabara, founder and chairman at Mobilitie, said, “Mobilitie has grown exponentially following Shamrock’s investment in 2013, providing the financial support required to scale nationally and fuel our expansion into 5G. Together, we have firmly established Mobilitie’s position as the market leader in 5G wireless infrastructure and have the foundation needed to accelerate our impact on a global scale. We’re excited for the next chapter of our growth as part of BAI Communications.”

CPP Investments’ head of portfolio value creation and non-executive director on the BAI Communications board of directors, Max Biagosch, about Mobilitie: ‘It is a true enhancement of our broader portfolio, extending our investment in digital infrastructure.’

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, known as CPP Investments, owns 86 percent of BAI Communications, which has its official headquarters in Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia, and assets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong. The company grew from a business known as Broadcast Australia, which today delivers 126 million broadcast hours to 99 percent of the Australian population and which remains a significant part of the BAI Communications group of companies.

CPP Investments’ head of portfolio value creation and non-executive director on the BAI Communications board of directors, Max Biagosch, said, “This acquisition is an exciting and dynamic move for the BAI business and represents an attractive opportunity for CPP Investments to increase its financial commitments and generate long-term sustainable returns for our contributors and beneficiaries. It is a true enhancement of our broader portfolio, extending our investment in digital infrastructure, which is critical to people and communities around the world as our lives become increasingly dependent on connectivity.”

In Leprince’s view, there is more to come for BAI Communications.

“The deals with Transport for London and with Mobilitie demonstrate our ambition for growth and becoming a leader in 5G neutral host infrastructure,” he said. (See “London Selects BAI Communications for Neutral-host Communications Infrastructure Concession.”)

“We don’t want to stop here,” Leprince said. “We want to focus on delivering on these deals, delivering on these organic and non-organic wins. In addition, we want to continue to push more. We are fortunate to have ambitious and supportive shareholders. We want to continue to drive this neutral-host solution for mobile network operators in small cells, venues, private networks, smart cities and fiber, and drive our transit communications business. What we have done is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more than we can do for mobile network operators and transit agencies.”

_____________________

Don Bishop is executive editor and associate publisher of AGL Magazine.

Also see:

“Neutral-host Infrastructure, Small Cells to Underpin Smart City Applications”

“London Selects BAI Communications for Neutral-host Communications Infrastructure Concession”

 

 

London Selects BAI Communications for Neutral-host Communications Infrastructure Concession

By Don Bishop

Click here to play video.
Igor Leprince (left) and Don Bishop.

 

Transport for London

Plans for a 4G-enabled and 5G-ready telecommunications infrastructure network that will operate as a neutral host for fixed and mobile wireless communications operators in London could serve as an example for similar projects elsewhere, according to Igor Leprince, group chief executive officer of BAI Communications. The company obtained a 20-year concession from Transport for London to design, build and implement the network, he said. The network also will deliver citywide Wi-Fi and fiber-optic cable connectivity, Leprince said, in an interview with AGL eDigest.

“It’s probably the largest and most advanced infrastructure project of its type in the world,” he said, “and will fast-track London’s evolution as a smart city.”

The first phase of the project is a rollout of multicarrier infrastructure, allowing fixed and mobile operators to provide 4G mobile connectivity to customers all across the London Underground rapid transit system, which serves Greater London and parts of the adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire. Included are all of the stations and all of the tunnels, coverage that Leprince said does not exist today. All stations and tunnels are due to have mobile coverage in four years. However, Leprince said that the project encompasses much more.

“It’s also a high-capacity fiber network running throughout the London Underground to enable the fiber service provider to provide full fiber connectivity to premises across the city,” he said. “That’s a big part of the project.” He said the project also includes the building of an emergency services network. “It’s a significant project for London’s citizens,” he said.

Transport for London has other assets that BAI Communications intends to use.

Billy D’Arcy, CEO of BAI Communications UK, in the London Underground at Westminster. Transport for London awarded BAI Communications a 20-year concession to deliver 5G-ready high-speed mobile coverage across the London Underground, enabling mobile operators to provide coverage with a large, advanced network. Source: BAI Communications

 

“TfL has tens of thousands of streetscape assets, including light poles and bus stops that can be used not only for small cells, 5G coverage and 5G capacity, but also for IoT 5G smart city use cases,” Leprince said. He said additional assets include the stations and the walls of the stations themselves.

BAI Communications provides neutral-host cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity for locations within the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) underground network of subway stations and private mobile radio, public safety, cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity across the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) underground and light rail systems. BAI Communications has majority ownership of Transit Wireless, which uses distributed antenna system (DAS) networks to provide cellular and Wi-Fi coverage in underground portions of the New York City Subway and includes a dedicated 4.9-GHz public safety band licensed to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

 

COVID-19

In Toronto, Leprince said, BAI Communications has used analytics on foot-traffic data to anticipate the crowding through the system. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for such information “to make sure that you can monitor social distancing, passenger load and access to transport services,” he said. “It goes beyond that. There are also many use cases we’re doing for the MTA about safety, for example, the help point intercoms. We’re deploying more than 1,000 help point intercoms across more than 175  stations in New York.”

Commenting about additional uses for analytics, Leprince said, “In other parts of the world like Hong Kong, for example, we work more toward things like driverless train applications or real-time video surveillance, also some areas of infotainment, for example, live infotainment. There are many cases, but it is true that a lot of the use cases that we developed and put in place in the last year have been COVID-19-impacted, for sure.”

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, known as CPP Investments, owns 86 percent of BAI Communications, which has its official headquarters in Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia, and assets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong. The company grew from a business known as Broadcast Australia, which today delivers 126 million broadcast hours to 99 percent of the Australian population and which remains a significant part of the BAI Communications group of companies.

______________________

Don Bishop is executive editor and associate publisher of AGL Magazine.

Also see:

“Neutral-host Infrastructure, Small Cells to Underpin Smart City Applications”

Neutral-host Infrastructure, Small Cells to Underpin Smart City Applications

By Don Bishop

Click here to play video.
Igor Leprince (left) and Don Bishop.

Smart Cities Small Cells

Smart city applications rely on a highly robust communications network, and BAI Communications intends to provide such a network at scale to support the next-generation connectivity and smart city development, according to the company’s group CEO, Igor Leprince. Speaking with AGL eDigest during an interview, Leprince said that neutral-host infrastructure and small cells would complement 5G wireless communications and associated technologies, such as analytics.

“A smart community can be a high street in a city where you’re putting together a set of local businesses to have connectivity, deliver services in a way that helps that certain municipality and improves the citizen services and the associated social and economic care,” Leprince said. “That’s the way we define a smart community.”

Municipalities partner with companies such as BAI Communications to provide neutral-host infrastructure, Leprince said.

“We have a big role to play in supporting these public-private enterprises, establishing smart communities among organizations and campuses and contributing to smart city development in a meaningful way,” he said.

Small cell technology is an important factor in the 5G wireless communications story, Leprince said. He said that shared infrastructure for small cells is poised to accelerate in the coming year.

“No doubt about that, in an increasingly growing number,” he said. “As early as last week, I was reading the Small Cell Forum report that neutral hosts are expected to account for 30 percent of new deployment of small cell infrastructure by 2026, and 20 percent of the inside wireless. It’s a huge increase from the current level.”

A company with communications infrastructure assets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong, BAI Communications has taken steps to grow its business. Two of those steps include its pending acquisition of U.S.-based Mobilitie and its selection by Transport for London (TfL) for a 20-year concession to design, install and operate citywide communications infrastructure using TfL assets.

Mobilitie has a broad portfolio of 220 venues across 39 states, 10,000 small cells across 45 states, and 300 tower sites across 14 states. It also has contracts to build wireless communication networks for the public transit systems in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay area. TfL has tens of thousands of streetscape assets available for BAI Communications to use in support of wireless access points.

Partnership With Signify

A Dutch multinational corporation, Signify, formerly known as Philips Lighting, entered into a partnership with BAI Communications that will help BAI with its wireless connectivity effort to advance smart community projects.

“The partnership is about combining our portfolio of neutral-host facilities and capabilities with Signify’s innovative portfolio in connected lighting with things like gigabit transmission, integrated luminaires, smart poles and smart hubs,” Leprince said. “The interest is in combining the expertise of the two businesses to boost the extensive capability to support fixed mobile operators and municipalities for smart city opportunities and 5G services. We’re going to test this partnership on the go-to-market side, but also on some of the projects that we announced, such as Transport for London.”

Lines interconnecting streetlights represent small cell wireless connectivity among Signify’s connected lighting products as BAI Communications might use them for a neutral-host 5G wireless communications network as part of its concession from Transport for London, a local government body responsible for most of the transport network in London. Source: BAI Communications

The collaboration will concentrate on BAI’s existing global operations ahead of exploring further opportunities across Europe, according to a statement BAI issued about the partnership. “This is another move in BAI’s active pursuit to be a world leader in connected 5G infrastructure,” the statement reads. “Collaboration outcomes will include co-creating connectivity solutions to circumvent the growing pressure on wireless communication due to increasing congestion on radio spectrum. This will unlock a broad range of operational and revenue improvement opportunities for BAI’s customers.”

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, known as CPP Investments, owns 86 percent of BAI Communications, which has its official headquarters in Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia, and assets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong. The company grew from a business known as Broadcast Australia, which today delivers 126 million broadcast hours to 99 percent of the Australian population and which remains a significant part of the BAI Communications group of companies.

______________________

Don Bishop is executive editor and associate publisher of AGL Magazine.