BAI Communications (BAI) announced the close of its acquisition of ZenFi Networks (ZenFi), a US East coast-based provider of digital infrastructure solutions and innovator in small cell deployment, offload & roaming services, fibre connectivity, and network edge colocation. ZenFi now becomes a BAI Group company, alongside Mobilitie and Transit Wireless in the United States, helping to further accelerate BAI’s growth in North America and support the company’s vision to become a leading provider of connected 5G infrastructure across North America and globally.
As part of the acquisition, BAI obtains ZenFi’s portfolio of assets, including over 1,100 route miles of fibre network throughout the New York and New Jersey metro region. This fibre network connects into major data centres and points of presence in 65 network edge colocation facilities, a critical component of its C-RAN infrastructure. Furthermore, ZenFi brings with it a host of long-established customer relationships, including contracts with the wireless carrier customers in the region and the rights to provide mobile infrastructure solutions across 4,000 LinkNYC kiosk structures through its partnership with the CityBridge consortium.
The deal will allow the Group to participate in Link5G, the next phase of LinkNYC, a first-of-its-kind communications network that has replaced payphones across New York City with state-of-the-art kiosks equipped with free high-speed Wi-Fi, maps, connections to city services, and device charging at no cost to taxpayers or users. In addition to the standard LinkNYC features, Link5G will bring a faster and more equitable deployment of 5G to neighbourhoods across New York City, with a focus on previously underserved areas. Link5G can accommodate all carrier equipment needs and provide the necessary infrastructure to expand broadband connectivity to areas of the city that have traditionally been underserved by carriers. The new kiosks include 5 independent RF transparent bays to host multiple carriers deploying a variety of 4G and 5G technologies.
These unique deployments combined with BAI’s commercial power in transit systems, will result in a differentiated offering in the New York area including wider small cell deployment, siting to mobile network operators, the support of municipal services with advanced connectivity, and the largest public Wi-Fi network, all transferable to other states in the US and to other markets.
Igor Leprince, Group CEO of BAI Communications, said: “I am very impressed with ZenFi’s talented team and commercial capabilities. Bringing ZenFi into the wider BAI Communications Group solidifies our position as a leading connected infrastructure provider in North America and increases the opportunities for new and specialised projects driven by our Group of companies. ZenFi’s unique expertise in fibre and small cell deployments in New York City and surrounding areas further strengthens BAI’s competitive position in the largest city in the US, while also providing us with new ways to partner with other organisations to address the digital divide in the underserved communities. This includes the deployment of 5G through the Link5G kiosks, essential to ensure all New Yorkers have access to the networks of the future.”
Closing of this acquisition means BAI’s technical and service offerings to network operators, enterprises, and public municipalities will significantly expand to include more specialised and scalable solutions, like small cell siting. ZenFi’s infrastructure is a natural extension of the connectivity solutions that Transit Wireless currently provides across the New York City subway. It will also be leveraged by Mobilitie for small cell connectivity of existing and new locations, as well as expanding its inbuilding 5G networks across North America.
Ray LaChance, Co-Founder and CEO of ZenFi Networks said: “These are exciting times at ZenFi. Our team’s hard work in developing sustainable, equitable, and innovative infrastructure solutions for a densely populated region like New York City and New Jersey has been a rewarding experience that will now scale up.”
Victoria Lamberth, Co-Founder and CRO of ZenFi Networks continued “We share a cultural and operational alignment with BAI that will ensure our customer-centric approach remains a priority into the future. Additionally, our combined expertise in fast-growth segments like small cell deployment with BAI’s global scale and reach, puts the BAI Group in an exciting position to drive increased connected infrastructure growth overall and new development opportunities for our people.”
Commenting on next steps, Mr Leprince added: “Our immediate priority now is on combining the capabilities and talent of our companies to assist our customers in delivering an enhanced experience at all points of their customers’ journey, from subway to above ground and from work to home.”