For a group specializing in camouflage, Colorado Springs-based ConcealFab has a way of finding the spotlight – it’s made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies two years in a row, most recently ranking as the 12thin the telecom industry and 706th overall.
It’s been a quick journey to that position for the Colorado-Springs based firm, which was born from a problem/solution scenario in 2007.
“The founder of our company had a ranch in an area with poor coverage,” explained Kirk Bult, ConcealFab’s Executive Vice President of Product Line Management. “A carrier approached him to put a cell site on the property, but the property owner didn’t want an unsightly structure. He decided to develop an RF transparent concealment, which the carrier liked, and that inspired him to start the company.”
ConcealFab first provided solutions for government and military installations, but new ownership in 2013 steered the company toward small cell concealment solutions, which it designs, builds, and deploys today.
“The government products still exist,” Bult said, “but the primary products we make are small cell concealments for 4G and 5G infrastructure. Our products now include poles, pole attachments, and custom concealments. We also develop and support a suite of PIM mitigation products.”
ConcealFab works with municipalities, carriers and other entities to blend small cell equipment into cityscapes and other environments while meeting RF performance, maintenance accessibility, and additional considerations. They’ll hide the equipment in plain sight, whether it’s on a streetlight or at a bus shelter, all while ensuring a seamless transition. Bult explained that aesthetically acceptable solutions lead to faster approvals, which benefits everyone.
Raymond James Stadium, home of Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, is upgrading to 5G and adding several other smart-stadium features, just in time for Super Bowl LV. Verizon serves as the neutral-site host, but all major carriers are bringing the high-throughput and low-latency of 5G to the stadium, thanks in part to ConcealFab’s concealment poles designed to meet carrier-specific requirements. The pole also takes into consideration the aesthetic and technical requirements of Buccaneers stadium officials, Tampa Sports Authority (TSA), and Tampa International Airport (TIA).
ConcealFab developed the solution in record time using a quick-turn design process and in-house manufacturing. The pole conceals low and mid-band 4G radio equipment and has a pole top shroud that contains omnidirectional 4G and public WiFi signals. 5G radios are mounted with shrouds that have custom developed and mmWave friendly clearWaveTM radome material. Two luminaires and surveillance cameras will eventually adorn the top of the pole for parking lot safety.
The concealment poles will bring 5G technology to the stadium, ensuring fans are “connected and protected” during the anticipated Super Bowl LV.
ConcealFab’s ability to develop a product from concept through engineering and fabrication – at an exceptional time-to-market speed – is a distinct advantage. In its 160,000-square-foot facility, the company integrates design and manufacturing to leverage expertise on both ends and facilitate a turnkey process. Material RF and PIM testing up to mmWave frequencies is done in house, as is thermal and structural validation.
What’s next on the agenda for ConcealFab? As the telecom world readies for widespread 5G deployment, the market reality of the T-Mobile merger, and the December C-band auction, ConcealFab is prepared. Its reputation and strong relationships with tier-one carriers paired with its access to next-gen equipment will allow ConcealFab to develop and gain quick approval of provider-agnostic solutions.
“We’ll continue to develop and advance our products and offerings,” he said. “We’re excited to see what the upcoming Licensed Sub-6 auction will bring in terms of new OEM radio development and MNO deployment strategies.”
ConcealFab’s products may be hard to spot, but its enthusiasm for what’s next is difficult to hide. Bult said the ConcealFab team is ready to lead the way with 5G innovation.
To see more about ConcealFab and its range of solutions, visit its new website, https://concealfab.com/