Building a better future from the network up
Our CCO, Ray O’Connor, has been with 4site for one year now. He believes the telecoms industry is on the verge of a fibre and mobile broadband boom with the proliferation of applications such as video, social networking and IOT. Ray champions that connectivity growth as he manages all commercial business activity for 4site, across Ireland, the EU and other emerging markets.
You could say infrastructural design runs in his family. His Dad, Joe O’Connor, managed the pre-digital design and roll out of copper infrastructure in the 1970’s and 80’s around North County Dublin with eir (then P&T/ Telecom Eireann). The same issues that all the operators encounter today existed a few decades ago.
Simple ideas of design back then made huge differences for utilities and home owners. Ray’s Dad was the engineer that came up with the very simple idea of relocating the utilities services box, from under the stairwell, to the gable / side wall of the property. This meant that utility companies no longer needed to set appointments to read metres, as read-access became readily available overnight.
“Design of any product or service is key”
Indeed, Ray has found many of 4site’s customers come to the company because they haven’t created the right design and plan in the first place. Which means that neither the plan, nor the contingency plans are effective. ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail’ as they say.
Ray supports that design-led ethos through our membership of the FTTH Council of Europe. The FTTH Council Europe is an industry organisation with a mission to accelerate ubiquitous fibre-based connectivity empowering a leading Digital Society throughout Europe.
“We are only the second Irish company to be accepted into the FTTH Council of Europe. We are firmly established as part of the ecosystem delivering fibre to the home across Europe.”
Video, social networking and IOT are the driving forces behind wireless, according to the 2018 Ericsson Mobility Report. However ubiquitous connectivity can only be achieved if both wireless and fibre operators are on the same page. Given the expensive nature of rolling out fibre optic cable, it is not always possible to enable all rural areas with a piece of cable. Advances in wireless technologies such as microwave or LTE/5G will (once engineered correctly) will act as a very real, but most importantly, a cost-effective way to connect homes and businesses somewhat out of the typical fibre reach.
Related video: FTTH broadband in rural North Kerry, Ireland
As 4site explore the future we see an open road (pardon the pun) in terms of opportunity, both on the fibre and wireless areas of our business. Government organisations such as Enterprise Ireland have helped us to further our business interests within the UK and the US. In fact, Ray was one of only eight other Irish business people invited to a lunch hosted by the Irish Ambassador, Adrian O’Neill, to the UK in June 2018. Minister Heather Humphreys led the discussion around the opportunities for Irish tech companies in the UK; the impact of Brexit to future growth; and the landscape going forward to increase Irish business in the UK.
2018 has been a very successful year for 4site so far, with big wins in both Ireland and the UK. Ray, with the help of Enterprise Ireland, has set his sights firmly on the US market. With Operators like Verizon and AT&T rolling out 5G and FTTH, 4site see its position there as being able to replicate what we have done in Ireland and the UK. The US market is experiencing the same challenges that we are this side of the pond by some of 4site’s customers. It’s for this very reason Ray attended ITW in Chicago this year and established new connections to explore and further his aggressive growth plans for 4site outside of Ireland.
“Telecoms is not just about the plumbing. I believe the telecoms industry has the power to make people’s lives simpler.”
For Ray the past 12 months has moved at an exciting pace and he is proud to continue to drive 4site’s growth, as part of that ecosystem that will deliver the network of the future.