Last year was an active year for U.S. wireless infrastructure company Mobilitie as the growing connectivity needs as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic boosted both wired and wireless infrastructure projects at a fast pace. To know more about the company’s outlook for 2021, In-Building Tech interviewed Jason Caliento, Executive Vice President, Network Strategy at Mobilitie.
Q: What can you comment about the company’s business outlook for 2021, taking into account the potential economic impact of Covid-19?
A: 2020 obviously had its challenges and the pandemic had an impact on the global economy, but we also saw a total realization of the importance of robust wireless and wired internet service and the importance connectivity plays in our lives. We saw the unparalleled adoption of video conferencing, the necessity and utility of remote learning in schools and universities, the exponential increase of remote fitness, and of course a massive shift in where people work. All of those shifts were facilitated by wired and wireless connectivity. As we look at 2021, we’re seeing nothing but increased interest and opportunities in connecting businesses and their customers, schools and their students, local governments and its citizenry. More specifically, with the recent CBRS and C-band auctions, 5G deployments, massive small cell investments, and the entrance of Dish into the marketplace, we are very bullish on the overall outlook for 2021, and is expected to be one of our largest growth years.
Q: In which particular business segments are you seeing growing business opportunities this year and why?
A: We are seeing significant year-over-year growth in our In-Building Networks for venue owners. As tenants return to commercial real estate, as guests return to hotels, and as smaller venues look to attract visitors, building, hotel, and venue owners are seeing that they need to have outstanding in-building coverage and capacity to attract and retain their tenants, guests, and fans. Mobilitie funds, designs, builds and operates multi-carrier solutions to provide outstanding in-building coverage and capacity. We’re seeing a mix of commercial real estate, hotels, and even smaller venues looking to stay competitive take us up on these offers, and candidly, we’re seeing some that will fall behind because they aren’t.
Q: How important is the DAS segment in terms of revenue contribution? How many DAS projects did the company complete last year and what is the outlook or target for this year in terms of DAS deployments?
A: Our core business is shared infrastructure across towers, small cells, and in-building systems; as well as providing the services that accompany these assets. The in-building segment is certainly significant to our business, primarily because we focus on complex properties and venues where our neutral-host model is a win for the building or venue owners and our customers. While we don’t share numbers publicly, we have announced a number of our recent marquee deals, and we’re very proud for example of our work at the Daley Center in Chicago, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Nova University in South Florida, and of course our partnership with Bay Area Rapid Transit in and around San Francisco. Again, as we look at 2021, we have a significant pipeline of work in progress, and incredibly high expectations for ourselves and on-behalf of our partners and customers. We’re looking forward to announcing many of these projects throughout the year.
Q: What specific trends are you seeing in terms of 5G deployments at large stadiums or venues across the US? How many of these projects did the firm complete last year and what is the outlook for 2021?
A: We are certainly looking forward to getting back to major sporting events and live concerts. We have a sizable portfolio of marquees sports and entertainment venues, and our teams are actively designing and deploying 5G across that entire portfolio in preparation for the in-person events that will come later in the year. There have been some really compelling advancements in what 5G can bring in terms of virtual reality and augmented reality, and we’re proud to be facilitating those user experiences.
Q- Apart from large venues, in which other segments are you seeing growing interest to carry out these projects to guarantee good indoor coverage?
A: In terms of 4G and 5G, we are seeing high-end commercial real estate, health care facilities, new residential projects, and certainly industrial properties have a growing interest in how advanced wireless services can be deployed cost-effectively. We are confident that the neutral host model is the most efficient way to do that to the benefit of all parties.