Featuring Connectivity Wireless’ Chief Executive Officer, Paul McGinn
INTERVIEWEE: Paul McGinn
TOPIC: State of the Wireless Market
1. What is one thing you really wish property owners knew about the current state of the wireless market?
Now more than ever, we see wireless connectivity emerging as the fulcrum for commercial properties of tomorrow.
The pathway to the wireless landscape of tomorrow is not clear cut for any one particular property owner or type. It is a path that is evolving. The best thing you can do as a property owner or manager is change your perspective from “Should I invest in X wireless system or technology?” to “How is my wireless network (comprising multiple wireless systems) preparing my building for the future and the changing environment of what our world is going to be?”
The current pandemic is a good example of the necessity of adaptive, modular wireless infrastructure. We all thought COVID would be a three-, four-, five-month issue, and now the best analysts and economic folks are saying it’s will be a three- to four-year window before we can address COVID to a full extent. As building owners take on the task and obligation of making sure that they provide a safe environment for their current and future tenants, we see wireless connectivity emerging, now more than ever, as a fulcrum for commercial spaces of the future.
2. What advice do you have for commercial property owners to prepare for tenant return and attracting new tenants?
We have to learn to adapt to new and emerging realities. A building that has relevant, adaptive capabilities, like a smart building or building with a DAS that can support connectivity-dependent devices and protocols, is much further along in providing that safety net for current tenants that want to come back now and attracting future tenants.
It’s not news that a wireless system is not an option anymore, but a requirement. A building without a wireless system (cellular and Wi-Fi) is not a building of the 21st century. People are not inclined to work or even socialize in an area where there’s no wireless coverage. They’ll find other locations to spend their time, money and resources.
In light of COVID, I would go as far as to say that now is the best time to install and upgrade connectivity-supporting infrastructures like a DAS, DRAN, private networks, public safety communications systems, or a Wi-Fi network.
Unprecedented vacancies in commercial spaces present an opportunity for cleaner, easier system upgrades and installations at a lower total cost of ownership, allowing your building to transition into the next generation of wireless systems (IoT, 5G, etc.) with minimal disruption to tenants and building operations,.
3. What do you predict in the next 5-10 years for the wireless industry/market?
Pretty much everything is already wirelessly connected to the internet, whether it be your car, your cellphone, your tablet, or your watch. In the future, everyone’s going to have wireless products across all facets of life. As we incorporate more of these types of “Io-Things” into our everyday life and become more dependant on them, we want all of those devices on our possession or in our briefcase to fully function at all times, across all environments – right? Well, this requires a seamless transition from one wireless network to the other.
From a property management perspective, it is crucial that your building be able to support all devices and wireless carriers (because your tenants and guests will not all carry the same devices or have the same service provider). This means your network should able to support all carriers’ frequency bands and designed to handle the unprecedented bandwidth demands that will come with IoT and 5G, etc.
We don’t always know what’s just around the corner with technology, but that’s one of the great things about a DAS system; it has the capability of supporting multiple technologies simultaneously. It’s a living, breathing product designed to adapt very easily to the next generation of wireless technology. That’s the best thing about the next generation of wireless – with small enhancements, the system can be upgraded for the next five to 10 years with minimal capital investment. Also, it’s quick to the marketplace. Once the infrastructure for this type of system is installed, it usually requires no further construction work, only modification to the headend which can be done off hours and out of the limelight of the building’s tenant base – It’s like a software upgrade.
4. Tell us about yourself
I was born in Western Massachusetts on an apple orchard where I worked every day until I was 16 and then, by chance, I entered into the real estate business and moved to Eastern Massachusetts. That is where I met and married my wife and raised our son and daughter. By chance, again, I found myself changing careers and entered the wireless sector and remain to this day a veteran of the wireless industry. While not the best golfer, I enjoy a round of social golf weekly at my home in Florida.
5. How long have you been in wireless?
I am a 25 year veteran of the wireless industry starting with SBA back when SBA was Steven Bernstein and Associates. During these first twenty years I enjoyed my time at SBA, then in 2002 I started my own tower company TCP Communications, based in Boston, and later sold it in 2007. I was then recruited to run a small tower company in Atlanta, CIG Communications, which was later sold in 2015. I was excited to start a new wireless phase in the Distributed Antenna System space in 2016 and remain to this day the CEO of Connectivity Wireless with offices in Florida, Georgia and Texas.