With the world going wireless more than ever and new, faster 5G technology looming, Durham-based Eco-Site is rapidly emerging as a key player in building towers communications providers need. A new $20 million investment will help propel that growth.

Eco-Site, which launched in 2012, announced the new funding on Monday from previous investor MSouth Equity Partners, which is based in Atlanta. MSouth earlier had put $80 million in the company. And earlier this year Eco-Site landed a whopping $50 million Guggenheim Partners.

So why’s Eco-Site so hot?

CEO Dale Carey, the firm’s founder, chair and CEO who has an extensive background in the wireless industry (including Cary-based SpectraSite) explains in an exclusive Q&A with The Skinny:

  • Does Eco-Site actually build the towers or contract out for construction-related services?

We don’t directly build the towers. We deploy a project management model where we oversee turnkey general contractors located throughout the United States.

  • What factors make Eco-Site a growing choice for tower construction and wireless infrastructure? It must be more than price.

Our team and our model. The way we implement our services and depth of experience at every level of our organization – not just the C-suite.

We have relationships with carriers that date back as much as 20 years in sales, deployment, business development, [and more].

  • How does Eco-Site set itself apart from the competition?

To build on my answer to the first question, a big advantage of our model is speed to market. The way we deploy assets and oversee construction allows us to be a fast, efficient partner.

  • Do you envision 5G as a future driver for more wireless tower growth?

Absolutely. As demand for data continues to grow and networks become more efficient there still will be a significant need for additional antenna sites, including towers.

Unlimited data plans from the major carriers implemented earlier this summer have resulted in a deluge of data demand.

This growth in data usage will continue, and challenge carriers to become more spectrally efficient and add more antennas and power. These will all be important components of deploying networks in the forthcoming 5G world.

  • What other technologies are driving more tower demand? For example, AT&T’s new service targeting rural and underserved areas via wireless?

The FirstNet network for first responders that AT&T will manage and build, is certainly driving demand for additional space and towers.

In the future, we’ll also see demand from other entities doing other kinds of wireless data-type services, whether data centers at towers or other approaches.

At the end of the day, no matter what the technology is deployed, you’ll always need more antenna sites due to the insatiable demand for data.

  • Are you hiring and if so in what areas?

Yes, and we are hiring for project management and finance positions in the Triangle.

  • What’s your headcount?

53 full-time employees, 40 of whom are based in Durham.

There are also another 15-20 contractors who are effectively working full-time for us.

Directly and indirectly, we employ around 200 people through our turnkey general contractors who work with us throughout the country deploying our assets.

  • VIDEO: Watch an introduction to Eco-Site at https://vimeo.com/147619938

Bio: Dale Carey

Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Prior to founding Eco-Site, Dale was president and COO of Shared Access, a wireless tower operator in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He also served as president of US Wireless for SpectraSite Communications Inc., where he held full profit and loss responsibility for $365 million in annual revenue and a $225-million EBITDA division, encompassing 8,000 towers and 20,000 rooftops.

Prior to US Wireless, Dale was president of the building division of SpectraSite, where he pioneered the neutral-host distributed antenna system model.

Dale spent 11 years at AT&T/Vanguard Cellular Systems, serving the last four years as the vice president for the mid-Atlantic region.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Temple University and serves on the advisory board at the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at York College.

Source: Eco-Site