4site’s growing UK footprint is down to fast-evolving skillsets

4site in the UK by Dom Kimber, Commercial and UK Client Director

Demand grows for 4site in the UK

Corporate and consumer demand for streaming services, cloud-hosted business solutions and IoT devices is putting pressure on carriers to roll out next-generation infrastructure that can support an insatiable appetite for bandwidth. In a notoriously fast-paced industry, the biggest revelation may be that it’s still in its infancy.

 

Although the UK is one of the most mature markets in terms of communications infrastructure, only 45% of homes and businesses are subscribing to superfast or better broadband (even though 94% are in areas where it’s available) and only 6% have access to full-fibre connections (Ofcom, December 2018).

4site in the UK

A Growth Market

With such a huge market opportunity for growth, it’s no surprise that demand for 4site’s services in the UK is growing fast. Demand is one driver. But our work there over the last 10 years has shown there are other reasons why we are such a good fit for UK carriers.

5 reasons why 4site deliver for UK carriers

1. Hybrid skills for hybrid networks

 

We started out as a survey and design infrastructure specialist. 4site evolved as the market evolved to provide full turnkey solutions, including the build. Hybrid describes more than our core skills, it covers our network competencies too. We work with wireless – licensed microwave, fixed wireless, mobile (3G-5G) – as well as fibre optic networks.

 

There is a long list of ‘pros and cons’ in the ongoing fibre v wireless debate, but they miss the point as far as we are concerned. The two technologies are joined at the hip and should be seen as complementary, not competing. (read what Ray O’Connor’s has to say about how they work together) We know this better than most because we work with both. We worked with one carrier that brought fibre-to-the-home in a regional town and used microwave backhaul to connect to its core network. This type of hybrid approach is becoming increasingly common.

 

2. Physical infrastructure access

 

From building and maintaining cellsite masts to providing duct and pole access for full-fibre broadband, we have vast experience of overground and underground installations in every kind of urban environment. Surveys draw on our multi-discipline skillsets, including radio engineers, property specialists, planners and builders.

4site fibre planners

We can draw up detailed splicing schedules to serve thousands of homes from a single fibre cable. We have fitted poles to the end of terraces and on high-rise multi-dwelling units for bundled connections to multiple tenants.

 

3. Digital transformation drives data-driven solutions

4site’s digital transformation journey has touched every part of our business, from on-site surveys with tablets and customised apps, to desktop design and build assessments that reduce operational expenditure. We are constantly surprised at how a ‘pen and paper’ culture still prevails in parts of the industry. It’s changing fast and we are more than ready.

 

For us, it’s all about creating digital workflows that do away with manual entry processes that increase the risk of mistakes and paperwork that can get lost. It starts out in the field with tablets or drones, capturing information that’s digitally fed into mapping software, BIM systems and 3D laser scanners. (read more about how 4site digitises data in this blog)

 

4. Staying close to the leading edge

 

Upskilling our people is core to what we do and why carriers trust us. They know we have the expertise to get the job done. To keep ourselves at the leading edge we liaise with network infrastructure vendors, take early collection of new hardware and evaluate it in our Limerick HQ. By the time it’s commercially available, we’re up to speed with the technology.

 

Where necessary we supplement in-house skills with contracted resources. We are very experienced at the recruitment and management of teams, overseen by our highly qualified project managers.

 

5. Masters of detail

 

The depth and range of what we do is growing all the all the time. What remains the same is our attention to detail. Whether we’re delivering Nokia infrastructure, carrying out faultfinding, checking masts with drones for line of sight connectivity, or connecting DC power to sub stations, we focus on the quality of the work not the volume.

 

All of the above add up to a comprehensive catalogue of network skills. Perhaps it’s the depth and range that helps us differentiate in the UK. Our clients can pick and choose the precise services they need from us. It could be one part of the design-and-build process or the full turnkey solution.

For more information on our services contact us at info@4sitenetworks.com

 

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