Essentia: Holistic and Accelerated Small Cell and Fiber Installations

Lindon Hayes, Founder & CEO, EssentiaLindon Hayes, Founder & CEO
Small cell installations play a crucial role in fostering wireless connectivity. The advent of 5G will further increase its value proposition; however, the tech being relatively new, calls for experts with ample experience for its democratization. Permitting, building, and installing small cells in the right-of-way is no easy task. Challenges lie not only on the technical front, but also on the regulatory, approval, and aesthetics side. Today, carriers are struggling—continually building, refining, tearing down, and coming up with processes and requirements for small cell installations. They require more than just a vendor with a plan. The need of the hour is experienced partners and Essentia proves to be an indispensable one. The NC-based company is on course to have completed fiber work in 42 states and small cell projects in 20 states by the end of the year. In addition to the rich experience they hold, what sets the company apart from their competitors is the proprietary process that they have built to speed up and streamline small cell and fiber installation: eSpeed 5G technology platform. This approach wraps various technologies and best practices around efficient processes, creating unparalleled efficiencies in data storage, management, and automation— much like Uber, whose novelty lies in creating an efficient method to streamline cab hailing.

How does the typical, manual-bound process associated with installing small cells begin? The way other vendors go about is that they would dispatch someone to collect data and pictures of the potential candidates (location), and then submit a Site Candidate Information Package (“SCIP”) to a customer. Then they perform a second visit to collect the architecture and engineering (A&E) data. “We look at this scenario and think: how can we make this better, faster, and more effective for the client? For example, we identified and adopted a novel New Zealand-based technology that allows us to remotely capture pole site data to fast forward both the site acquisition and the A&E process.

The company packages such best practices and methodologies into what it describes as the eSpeed 5G technology platform

This technology alone decreases the project timeline by 45 to 60 days,” says Lindon Hayes, CEO and founder of Essentia.

Today, to rapidly democratize access to wireless connectivity, carriers seek vendors with a track record of following through and hitting their mark, especially when it comes to navigating the sometimes sticky landscape in which legal, political, technical, and carrier considerations are all at play. Essentia’s “Project playbook” is a unique methodology that the company adopts to consistently engage with key stakeholders of any installation. It often serves as their first tool when taking on new assignments. Most projects involve going into some of the most challenging municipal and political environments in the nation and earning the opportunity to deploy their small cell and fiber solutions. “Essentia holds a reputation of being a ‘fixer’ for carriers where they’ve reached an impasse with a municipality, whether it’s landing that tough-to-get meeting or building the right stakeholder relationship to demonstrate we’re the right people to do the job,” adds Mark Frazier, president of the company.

Essentia provides both outdoor small cell and fiber in tandem—a unique, turnkey approach within the industry. This dual-focus allows their clients to eliminate the need to juggle multiple vendors that solely serve one niche or another. Essentia’s secret recipe relates to fostering a work culture that transforms employees into industry thought leaders in their respective area of expertise. “You simply don’t design and build 4,500 miles of fiber and thousands of nodes for the top seven U.S. carriers without intentionally growing a culture of highly skilled entrepreneurial, top-flight professionals who are on board with your vision, mission, and values,” prides Lindon. Essentia has now taken that track record of success to the realm of 5G. Evidently, the company has excelled at building the trust, speed, and expertise for being the go-to entity for full-fledged small cell and fiber installations.