MD7: Rebranded for the Tailwinds of 5G


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MD7’s vision, “unlimited possibilities in a world connected” sets the stage for its new global brand, logo and website unveiling this month, after 17 years of service to the wireless industry. The company’s purpose is to “enable our partners to realize the potential of mobile.” Through a suite of services that help wireless operators manage their assets, MD7 provides development and management of cellular real estate and infrastructure, new insights and consulting services.

The core founders have been together since MD7’s beginning in 2003 when their first “office” was Starbucks. “We are now 300 employees strong over 9 time zones,” says Tom Leddo, Chief Strategy Officer. “We wanted our brand to not only reflect who we’ve become, but also who we see ourselves becoming in the future.”

Headquartered in San Diego, CA, and Dublin, Ireland, MD7’s team has deep roots in the mobile infrastructure consultancy business. Tom Leddo is quick to point out, however, “We’re not the same company that we were 17 years ago.” He adds, “With the tailwinds of 5G taking everything to the next level, we’re excited about the next three to five years. We’re going to continue to evolve, to grow and find ways to solve our customers’ needs through innovation and technology.”

Traditionally, MD7’s services include site acquisition, site optimization, site lease negotiation and landlord management. “When you combine it all together holistically, we’re the one company that does all of that. That depth, that collective knowledge, differentiates us from competitors, and has allowed us to organically expand in consultancy and providing insights from cell site data,” says Leddo.

Leddo explains that “what you’re seeing is the perfect storm. The cell phone market is saturated causing the growth curve to flatten out while cell site operating expenses continue to increase, and, the operators have to continue to invest in their networks,” particularly with the onset of 5G. Operators need to ensure that they are paying reasonable rents and optimally managing their entire lease portfolio for the future. MD7 is an operator’s partner to ensure that their cell sites leases are sustainable, as they go from “mountain tops to light poles,” adds Leddo.

One of the biggest problems is that operators don’t realize how quickly their real estate rents have gone up. “They think it’s only going up a few percentage points per year. We’re able to show them that they are actually going up way more than that.”

“We want to help wireless operators see their cell sites as assets, not cost centers,” says Leddo. “From renegotiating rising real estate rent to answering hotlines and managing ongoing communications with landlords, we can do all of this and more, so operators can get back to managing their networks.”

MD7 uses mobile infrastructure management software and intelligent data to save operators time and money.

Livetrack is a software platform that can access information about thousands of cell sites quickly and reliably. Financial data, documents, milestones and other information is fully visible, in real-time, to the client and MD7 team. This allows MD7’s team to negotiate leases, secure zone permits and modify and upgrade existing macros to manage thousands of small cells currently on both coasts and everywhere in-between. “The folks who do our negotiating of leases and zoning permits can do all of that in Livetrack and can manage significantly more volume and do it significantly faster than when I started 25 years ago,” explains Leddo.

Contract analyzer is a confidential database that provides broad intelligence across an operator’s entire asset portfolio. What used to take the work of 40-50 people (manually reading 20,000 leases and extracting information into a database), now takes several people a short time to process and analyze thousands of lease documents and contracts digitally, abstracting key provisions and data. “Contract analyzer uses machine learning to ensure that data is read consistently. The data comes from our customers and we work with it, confidentially, on their behalf,” adds Leddo.

MD7’s goals for the future are to maintain quality while continuing to increase their business. Leddo says, “We want to revolutionize and change the mindset of the industry, change the way that the industry looks at infrastructure and manage it much more efficiently.”

MD7 unveiled its new corporate brand identity, redesigned logo, and website on October 15, via a live webcast of its virtual brand reveal event. The event included MD7’s 300-plus team members throughout the United States and Europe, simultaneously opening new brand gift boxes filled with MD7 swag.

The webcast opened with a welcome speech by MD7 CEO Michael Gianni and a video titled “A Look Back”, both of which celebrated the many achievements of MD7 over the last 17 years and highlighted the strong company culture of building relationships. In his speech, Mr. Gianni noted, “I’m so proud of what MD7 has become and the relationships we hold today. As you hear me say often, what we value most is our relationships and serving others and one another.”

With the updated brand of MD7, one of the things that hasn’t changed is the company’s core values: integrity, respect for the individual, extreme service, continuous improvement, balanced life and giving back. Leddo says that these values are talked about every single day and that they are one of the constants that helps them focus on their customers as well as their people internally.

To sum up the future, Leddo says, “Through 5G, the operators are going to change the world, and MD7 is going to help them by changing the way they view and manage their underlying assets.”

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