March 17, 2016 — SQUAN’s acquisition Osmose Communications Services (OCS) will give the New Jersey infrastructure service provider new services in fiber-optic transport engineering, outside plant delivery and fiber-optic delivery management, as well as a larger geographic footprint.
“We are trying to build a different type of services company with a breadth of services and a distinct geographic focus,” said Leighton Carroll, SQUAN CEO. “As a regional player, service and customer diversity become very important. Getting to scale in the breadth of services offering will be important for our customers.”
SQUAN is a traditional wireless infrastructure service provider, servicing major cellular companies and tower companies with macrocells. In 2014, it expanded in small cells and DAS.
“Fiber is the backbone of our three-pronged [towers, small cells and DAS] approach,” said Carroll. “Fiber is not only important to wireless but it is booming for wireline services. Google has started an arms race between the cable companies, and the legacy wireline telcos [concerning network speeds].”
As a provider of services to telecom companies, SQUAN performs a lot of work connecting the last mile. OCS will add transport capabilities to that last-mile work.
“The acquisition helps us with not only service diversification and customer diversification but ideally with a competitive service offering,” Carroll said.
Over the next few months, the OCS brand will transition to SQUAN Transport Services and continue to function from its offices in Conway, Arkansas; West Monroe, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia; Miami and Tampa, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Durham, North Carolina.
“The acquisition provides us with new avenues to bring our services to where OCS is,” Carroll said. “The concept is to expand down the east coast and to add complementary services wherever possible, which add real value to our end customers.”
In particular, the OCS acquisition will allow SQUAN to provide additional services to carriers and tower companies that have recently expanded through acquisitions into fiber provision.
“The entry of wireless companies into fiber simply reinforces our strategic vision,” Carroll said. “By having really strong fiber-optic engineering and delivery capability, it allows us to add additional services to the three legs that we have already.”
OCS is SQUAN’s first acquisition but it won’t be its last, according to Carroll, who plans to grow in a slow, well-thought out manner. He has scouted 80 companies so far. He currently has another company under a definite letter of intent and is actively pursuing two other companies, which he thinks are “unique and strategic in the space.”
Service diversification and geographic focus are important to Carroll, but they can’t match on his emphasis on personnel.
“Osmose is a leader in the utilities space and we saw value in the talents of the OCS people,” he said. “The important thing is how we identify, develop and retain talent.”