BAI heads north after Boldyn rebrandBAI heads north after Boldyn rebrand
The Australian network builder is to establish its global HQ in the UK as it switches focus to the northern hemisphere.
June 13, 2023
More changes are afoot at BAI Communications, which recently announced it will be adopting the corporate name of Boldyn Networks at the end of June. The Australian network builder is heading northwards and establishing its global headquarters in the UK.
The move reflects the fact that the new Boldyn Networks is combining six businesses that build fixed and wireless infrastructure in Europe and North America with a particular focus on neutral host networks.
As well as the European and North American businesses of BAI itself, these include ZenFi, which owns around 1,100 route miles of fiber across New York alongside the city's 4,000 LinkNYC kiosks; Mobilitie, which owns 220 distributed antenna networks, 10,000 small cells and 300 tower sites across the US; Signal Point Systems, which has installed more than 300 small cells on US military bases; Transit Wireless, a US neutral host provider that also operates the Transit Wireless New York City subway network; and Vilicom in Ireland and the UK, which specializes in 4G and 5G private, indoor and offshore networks.
The BAI name will be retained in Australia, where it will operate as a separate business, although all operations will remain under the ownership of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments).
Big in the UK
The UK has certainly been an important market for BAI over the years, not least because it secured a 20-year concession from Transport for London (TfL) to provide neutral host mobile connectivity for the London Underground. BAI is investing "in excess of £1 billion [US$1.3 billion]" in a new fiber network using the underground network tunnels and infrastructure.
In addition, in October 2021 Sunderland city council in the north of England awarded BAI a 20-year strategic deal to design, build and operate next-gen digital infrastructure, including a private 5G small cell network. Also in Sunderland, BAI partnered with Mavenir to roll out a 5G neutral host network, based on open RAN tech, to support a smart city project.
Elsewhere, BAI is behind UK infrastructure projects including the provision of mobile connectivity to Hornsea 2, described as the world's largest wind farm that powers 1.4 million homes and a 5G private network for the world's largest "living lab" for offshore wind that's being developed in the Humber. It's also in the process of rolling out fiber across several London boroughs and installing mobile coverage at various venues around the country.
BAI has also made various management changes in recent months as part of its preparations for a refreshed brand and its global refocus. In the US, for instance, Christos Karmis was appointed CEO of the US division that combines Mobilitie, Signal Point Systems, Transit Wireless and ZenFi Network, while a host of other appointments were also made to the US leadership team.
— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading
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