An industry veteran who led AT&T's early efforts to deploy distributed antenna systems (DAS) at airports and other big venues just launched his latest venture, a company focused on enterprise in-building systems called Strategic Venue Partners (SVP).
Rich Grimes, co-founder of SVP with Chad Aaron, a veteran of the corporate finance industry, helped develop AT&T’s DAS strategy starting around 1995. He has since gone on to establish other businesses and led InSite Wireless Group’s DAS and small cell strategy until March of this year.
SVP will provide end-to-end solutions to help enterprises navigate the complexities of the wireless infrastructure market. It’s targeting venues that Grimes describes as part of an underserved middle market: medical facilities, sports/entertainment, hospitality, universities, Class A office space, high rises, mixed-used developments and retail space. Tiger Infrastructure Partners is SVP’s financial partner.
“Having the opportunity to start a new venture with ideal and very qualified business partners as well as having the financial backing of a well-respected private equity firm—it presented itself with an opportunity that I was excited about and it was an easy decision at that point,” he told FierceWirelessTech.
The 3.5 GHz band in the U.S. is expected to enable all kinds of venues to deploy their own LTE networks if they so choose, but Grimes said his company will be supporting enterprises at whatever spectrum band makes sense for them.
“I think there’s an opportunity due to the dynamics that are changing in the enterprise middle market space where the carriers’ business model is changing" and they just don’t have the ability to fund such projects. “That business model with the carriers is shifting. The demand is growing," as is the expectation for wireless technology to be enabled at various vertical venues in the enterprise sector. "I think that next wave is an opportunity that, in my view and our business partners' view, is a good opportunity to leverage our collective expertise and financial capability to develop and grow that market."
As for competition, he said that’s like “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and you could say everybody is the competition. But he doesn’t pay strict attention to the competition or its pace, preferring to focus on developing and executing the strategy that he and his team have decided on. That means listening to the needs of the venue customers. “You have to be very agile in your perspective, both on the technology solutions as well as the business models,” he said.
Pasadena, California-based SVP says it has a proven track record providing customized licensed cellular and unlicensed systems across multiple venue and asset class types. Its services include consulting, engineering, design, construction, implementation and ongoing management and ownership of complex wireless infrastructure technology solutions. The company also has several strategic alliances to help provide technology solutions, long-term customer support to clients and opportunities to expand the SVP platform of solutions.