Neutral Connect Networks: A New Breed of Tower Company

Neutral Connect Networks (NCN) is a unique tower company offering neutral hosting of networks in addition to traditional attachment. Founded in 2016, the leaders of NCN have invested in expanding its footprint across the United States ever since.

“We partner with cities and both public and private corporations to make a neutral host environment a reality,” said Paul McGinn, CEO, who has a 20-year history working in the telecommunications industry.

NCN works with the big four carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint) along with regional cable and cellular companies, like Comcast, Charter Communications, US Cellular and, Cspire, to serve as a neutral operator. The company partners with higher education institutions, Native American tribes, business improvement districts, department of transportation agencies and more.

“It takes many different groups to bring connectivity to the public and private sectors, plus city and state-owned venues. We are proud to partner with many organizations and businesses developing WiFi and DAS systems to enable connectivity,” said McGinn. “We bring the neutral host environment to the table, allowing all four major carriers to operate within one network. This offers a viable financial option to our customers and eliminates the need for a single carrier to build a network; we create networks, so all four carriers can co-exist.”  

NCN is responsible for providing connectivity in major sporting and entertainment venues, shopping centers, business improvement districts, on transportation vessels and more. The company provides the fastest transportation WiFi network for the Staten Island Ferry System which has a fleet of eight boats that run 24 hours a day. This network serves over two million travelers every year and pushes nearly one terabyte a day. The company is also responsible for bringing a WiFi district to Brooklyn, NY, providing free service to the public. Additionally, they have networks located in Times Square and throughout NYC.

NCN’s networks reach far beyond the state of New York, though. NCN has assets all over the United States, with concentrations on the East and West coasts, in the Southern states and the Midwest.

“I’ve worked in the industry for over two decades, focusing mostly on towers and infrastructure, but I know small cells and DAS are the future of this industry and the next generation of business, so that’s what NCN is focused on,” said McGinn.

Staying “neutral” is important to McGinn and his team. “We build a network and will lease it over a period of time because this is the best structure to allow all four carriers to operate inside the network at a reasonable cost. We offer the same service to all four carriers; one carrier doesn’t get preferential treatment or better coverage than another,” said McGinn.

As small cells and DAS become the future of telecommunications, McGinn predicts that over the next 10 years, virtually every office building will need to have a DAS system to stay competitive. Additionally, as 5G rolls out, there will be an even greater need for small cells to enable IoT and autonomous automobiles.

“Moving forward, WiFi will continue to be a great solution for carriers, allowing them to broaden bandwidth while freeing up their spectrum and capacity,” said McGinn. “DAS is the second phase of what the tower industry was 20 years ago.”

And contributing to these industry advancements, it’s what sets NCN apart.  “It’s all about what we strive to present,” said McGinn. “We may be small in size, but we have the financial capabilities and the knowledge to accomplish great things for our clients.”

Most of the staff at NCN have worked in the telecommunications industry for over 20 years; the team knows the network operations plus the design and capabilities of the system. “We can be flexible on the terms and the parameters that are most important to our partners,” added McGinn. “We’re nimbler because of our size and can offer elevated service because of our expertise.”

NCN is headquartered in Palm Beach County, FL and has staff located throughout the USA—from New York to California and everywhere in between to service the DAS systems. For more information or to contact a representative, visit http://www.neutralconnect.com/.

By Keara Piekanski for Inside Towers

October 3, 2018

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