In move to connected everything, still “significant gap in infrastructure,” SQUAN exec says

New Jersey-based network infrastructure design/build firm SQUAN today announced that John Ferrara will serve as the company’s new chief financial officer. Former CFO for TheStreet and most recently CFO for consulting firm Cartesian, Inc., Ferrara discussed his new role with RCR Wireless News and hit on some of the trends shaping the telecoms industry.

Q: Can you provide some detail of your experience in telecommunications, particularly some of the trends influencing the industry that Cartesian was tracking?

A: “The trend across all industries has been and continues to point toward ‘connected-everything’. Demand for ubiquitous coverage from consumers is hitting a crescendo. From connected cars, to connected homes, and everything in between. Connectivity will augment and enhance every aspect of our daily existence.  While we certainly live in interesting times where devices and gadgets are changing our lives, there remains a significant gap in infrastructure.  The world needs more dense and reliable infrastructure to make this a reality.”

Q: What’s your high-level appraisal of the competitive market for network infrastructure design/build firms as operators move from LTE to 5G and enterprises increase investment in wireless networking?

A: “The market for network infrastructure firms is complex, in that mass deployments of fiber and wireless is giving way to strategic siting. Companies need to adapt to using a scalpel, rather than using a mallet. The opportunities are abundant for those companies making the pivot to address challenges presented by densification projects and getting coverage closer to the user. In particular, companies who successfully merge OSP and wireless skillsets are leading the pack through specific differentiation.”

Q: Given that market dynamic, what do you see as SQUAN’s strengths, and what sort of growth opportunities is the company focused on?

A: “SQUAN has been focused on leveraging its acquisitions of companies that specialize in OSP design/build. The company has blended their expertise with their established wireless operation in a manner that allows for a unique perspective on the challenges facing network operators. Given our expanded portfolio of services, we have seen great interest from all of our clients on both the wireless and wireline sides of our business. Specifically, we are seeing substantial growth in our small cell, DAS, and FTTx business.”

Q: As SQUAN works to drive that growth, what sort of challenges do you expect to have to navigate?

A: “The industry surge toward 5G faces many challenges. Siting issues stemming from regulatory road blocks and general resistance from municipalities and utility companies present the most difficulty for companies navigating the landscape. FCC rules around one touch make ready help to minimize some of these challenges. Additionally, cost models related to rights of use for the placement of antenna, fiber and ancillary equipment are not fluid enough to accommodate installations that differ from previous deployments.”

Q: Specific to in-building cellular, addressing the underserved segment of buildings between 100,000 and 500,000 square feet has been seen as a major revenue driver for some time. As it stands today, to what extent is this market being addressed, and what can SQUAN do to gain more share?

A: “SQUAN has seen some increase in demand across enterprise applications for in-building cellular in the 100,000 to 500,000 SQ/FT segment. There still remains a huge disconnect between building owners and the technology. While developers and building owners understand the issue at the highest level, there remains a gap in who will pay to build systems and fund signal source. The market is still highly fragmented in this area, in that electronics vendors are still struggling to find the sweet spot for pricing and form factor.”

The post A Q&A with SQUAN’s new CFO on network infrastructure trends appeared first on RCR Wireless News.