By Tom Leddo, Vice President
At Md7, we sometimes get asked “are you familiar with ___________ (fill in the blank with any type of technology) or have you worked with ___________ (fill in the blank again with any choice) equipment before?”
Our answer is always the same: “Yes, but we are technologically agnostic”
Dictionary.com defines agnostic as:
- of or relating to agnostics or their doctrines, attitudes, or beliefs,
- asserting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge, and
- holding neither of two opposing positions.
The third one, “holding neither of two (or in our case more) opposing beliefs” is the one that applies for Md7. In short, as a vendor in the wireless infrastructure industry we are indifferent to any and all types of technology and/or equipment manufacturers as long as they perform reliably and are both safe and legal. However, we will admit to getting excited about some of the options especially when they weigh less and use less space!
When I first started in the infrastructure industry in September of 1995, one of the first RF engineers I met was working for PrimeCo PCS in Houston, Texas. He explained Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) to me. To be candid, I didn’t really understand the difference at that time between CDMA and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). But, since my two largest customers at that time were PrimeCo and Sprint PCS who were both building their new CDMA networks in Texas, I, of course, agreed with them. I preferred CDMA and kept getting work.
Over time, I began to get work from other clients who were GSM-based and so my opinion began to change. Now LTE is, of course, making this a moot point.
More importantly, what I also found was that the work I was doing was in the “wireless infrastructure industry”, not the “wireless industry” as a whole, and that I specialized in towers and real estate as part of the infrastructure. My job since 1995, and the job of everyone at Md7 today, is to get sites on air faster, regardless of technology.
If it is a new site; we are tasked with finding candidates, securing leases, A&E, zoning and permitting, environmental review/approval, NTP and construction management, all in an effort to get the latest technology that our clients have chosen to deploy on air as quickly as possible.
To take it a step further, we are also indifferent to traditional macro sites, DAS and small cells. Yes, the process and skills between the three do vary. The process and skills needed to deal with a tower or roof-top owner for a macro are very different from a major sports arena for DAS and a municipality or utility for pole mounted nodes.
But, in the end, the task for Md7 is always the same – work with and coordinate the multiple parties necessary to get the signal on air….fast. And we are getting pretty good at it.