The Aero Wireless Group is firmly planted in both the present and future of the telecom infrastructure world by optimizing macro towers while innovating the proliferation of small cell solutions for municipalities. Beginning as Comptek in New York City in 1998, the Boulder, CO based company began with innovating proprietary solutions for safely reinforcing existing towers and towers with co-location infrastructure. In 2002, Aero Solutions was born and introduced the PoleMax™ solution, using steel to reinforce monopoles, with Sprint as its first client. The company is privately held, headed by Jim Lockwood P.E., President and CEO, and realized $20 million in revenue within its first four years in business. Over the years, the group has established three operating companies – as industry changes required innovative solutions – housed under the Aero Wireless Group umbrella.
Since 2013, Aero Solutions has focused on macro cell, small cell engineering, and AE services plus provides PoleMax reinforcing materials for contractors to install. In 2015, Comptek began development on a full product line of small cell infrastructure and concealment structures to support small cell deployments, including its newest addition, the Smart CityPole™. This solution is being deployed as a standard by Verizon Wireless in Denver and advancing forward with additional major carriers and municipalities nationally.
Outside of the wireless industry, Lockwood established Wind Tower Technologies, LLC in 2013, based on his design and patent of a precast concrete wind tower solution. He licensed the design to Siemens Energy Americas who constructed the first tower in Iowa in 2016, setting a U.S. record for wind tower height, by 40 percent, at 377 feet to the hub. The innovative tower solution is now patented in seven countries. Lockwood plans next to expand further into renewable energy, including industrial solar power and solutions that will support small cell infrastructure off the power grid.
In 2016, Aero Municipal Consulting was founded with a sole purpose of working with municipalities to integrate small cells into their geography. This consulting arm works to help municipalities and telecom carriers open lines of communication and find the balance between installing infrastructure in the rights-of-way. Jim Lockwood sees a trend where cities are embracing infrastructure in anticipation of an IoT environment; he and his team are trying to help municipalities “see the long-term financial benefit while figuring out the short-time financial challenges” to accomplish a shared vision.
By Keara Piekanski, Inside Towers
July 26, 2017