Recently, SAC Wireless gathered members from a wide spectrum of industries at our headquarters in Chicago for the annual Environmental, Health and Safety Communications Panel Symposium. More than 100 industry veterans attended. Participants at the symposium represented leaders from wireless, wireline, manufacturing, OSHA and so much more.
SAC Wireless founder and Chief Field Services Officer Jonathan McKinley said it best, “We are steadily building and strengthening our safety culture and communicating that it is our number one priority,” he said. “We want our men and women going home every day after work, as healthy as they were clocking in.”
We always aim to be 100-percent safe from top to bottom at SAC. More than just our tower climbers, it is our staff training in CPR for the entire organization, it is our engineers and architects who spend time in the field to understand the challenges the team is facing, and it is our innovation department, which is looking for new ways to ensure as we evolve, safety is at the forefront of our projects and plans.
Some steps SAC has taken overall include: digitizing certifications for its field crews. If a site is being audited, there is a central, digital, on-demand record of every crewmember’s certification at the foreman’s fingertips. Gone are the days of bulky, easily lost, laminated cards stuffed into a wallet.
We have state-of-the-art training centers in several cities throughout the United States. The Chicago-area facility includes a 50-foot outdoor tower for crews to practice on while earning various safety certifications, including technical expertise and CPR. This recently unveiled facility ensures that our crews, all of whom train at this facility, never get their first climbing experience at a jobsite. The outdoor tower offers a real, hands-on experience where tower techs can prepare for their job and feel confident at the start of their career.
SAC’s 15,000 square-foot climate-controlled facility features four indoor training towers. Classrooms can fit 20 participants, who will be taught by four national safety trainers. Here we cover all equipment and workplace procedures, in a variety of weather conditions, to ensure the safety of workers on the tower and everyone down below.
We have placed an emphasis on hiring military veterans who often come from a previous position of rigid safety standards and training meant to enforce risk mitigation. Our training team has noted how much more receptive military veterans can often be to training procedures.
The Chicago symposium I mentioned at the beginning was a way for us to speak with the industry and trade best practices. We also shared common challenges and even the positive impact our processes and experts are having on the industry and the communities we serve.
We all walked away with a united vision of tower safety. It truly was a chance for the large telecoms combined with large tower companies to pioneer a new, safety standard across the industry.
SAC proudly shared these safety culture best practices, and more, at the symposium. We welcomed colleagues throughout the industry to share their expertise and insights too. Working together across the telecommunications business only serves to strengthen commitment to realize 100 percent safety, 100 percent of the time. Safety does not favor a company logo — it’s the daily result of the planning and dedication for those who look out for one another as one team.
As a business, we aim to set that standard. As people, we aim promote it industry-wide. We look forward to continuing our commitment with the symposium in the years to come.
July 17, 2014 — In a move to gain a foothold in the U.S. services market, Nokia Networks has purchased SAC Wireless, a nationwide provider of network and infrastructure deployment. With the U.S. market currently dominated by Ericsson and to a lesser degree Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia has struggled to remain relevant.
“Once the transaction has been completed, it will help us increase market share in the network implementation space,” said Ricky Corker, executive vice president of North America for Nokia Networks.
The combination of Nokia and SAC Wireless will provide in-house capabilities that will address complexities surrounding site acquisition, permitting, sub-contractor availability and quality that may hinder network rollout, Corker said.
“With SAC Wireless’ capabilities complementing our own in-house expertise, we are well positioned to bring enhanced quality and increased end-to-end delivery efficiency to our customers,” Corker said.
Hooking up with SAC Wireless could have collateral benefits if the turf vendor can open doors for Nokia’s equipment.
Nokia Enhances Network Planning
The day after the acquisition news broke, Nokia Networks announced that it had bought advanced geolocation capabilities from NICE Systems to enhance the planning and optimization of mobile networks. Geolocation uses 3-D modelling to produce multivendor networks with accurate network performance.
“We believe that when combined with Nokia’s services expertise, this technology helps to provide deep insight into traffic trends and the performance of mobile broadband networks,” said Dennis Lorenzin, network planning and optimization for Nokia. “The evolution of small cells and LTE necessitates more accurate 3-D geolocation capabilities.”