Eco-Site targets blighted areas for wireless sites

MSouth Equity Partners committed an $80 million investment in Eco-Site, a start-up planning to build wireless sites on brownfield and blighted properties in highly congested metropolitan markets.

Eco-Site, based in Chapel Hill, N.C., "will buy and remediate the real estate, build an urban microcell while also providing backhaul and backup generator services," said the company's CEO, Dale Carey.

Carey is the former president of SpectraSite Communications and founder of Shared Access. He told the Triangle Business Journal that his newest firm will partner with Raleigh, N.C.-based Cherokee Partners, an expert in brownfield remediation.

Data-centric metropolitan markets are driving the need for targeted approaches to cellular coverage and capacity that enhance the mobile broadband experience. Operators are enhancing existing macrocell sites as well as deploying new small cells and networks for Wi-Fi offloading. Crown Castle CEO Ben Moreland recently said his company's decision to buy the rights to 7,200 of T-Mobile USA's towers for $2.4 billion was an effort to boost Crown's tower presence in dense urban markets where carriers' capacity needs will be greatest in the years ahead.

"We believe [Eco-Site] is in an excellent position to capitalize on the increasing demand for wireless infrastructure in dense urban markets," said Barry Boniface, partner in Atlanta-based private equity firm MSouth.

MSouth claims to have more than $700 million under management in two active funds.

For more:
- see this Eco-Site release
- see this Triangle Business Journal article

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