One of the bigger infrastructure deals of the year has officially closed, and six familiar brands have been replaced by just one. Following BAI Communications’ purchase of ZenFi, the company has rolled ZenFi, Mobilitie, BAI Communications, Signal Point Systems, Transit Wireless, and Vilicom together under the single banner of Boldyn Networks.
Boldyn runs the connectivity for 6 major transit systems touching almost a thousand stations, 300+ public venues, 126k small cells, 77 colo facilities, 3,000 route miles of fiber, 300 macro towers, and a whole lot of WiFi coverage. It’s quite a collection of assets aimed at connecting some of the more difficult to cover and densely occupied environments. It’s a very different path of consolidation than we have seen others take, eschewing land grabs and instead focusing on lucrative but complex scenarios.
The launch was punctuated by Boldyn’s selection to hook up two additional high profile arenas.
- They will be building a state of the art 5G DAS network for the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse out in Cleveland, home of the NBA team the Cleveland Cavaliers with seating of 19,432. Also playing at the location are the AHL hockey team the Cleveland Monsters. The network will support all 5G specturm bands, including 2.4Ghz and C-band.
- Meanwhile across the Atlantic they will also be building out a 5G wireless network in the ‘first direct arena’ in Leeds. It’s an expansion of the relationship between Boldyn and ASM Global, which operates the 13,000-seat entertainment venue. All 4 UK mobile networks will be able to join the network, enabling all event attendees to benefit from the interactive experience offered by the venue.
Just where Boldyn Networks will focus its post-launch efforts will be interesting to watch. Will they target more such arenas? Will they find opportunity within the transit systems of more markets? Or will the dense fronthaul/backhaul pattern of ZenFi be reproducible in other metro areas?
The company has a unique combination of skills spanning the fiber, wireless, tower, and colo pieces of the infrastructure world that gives it advantages in very targeted cases, if they choose them well. Yesterday’s announcements are both about arenas, but perhaps also geographically suggestive of a joint focus on the US and Europe.
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