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NTI Connect Acquires Verticom

Vertical Communications (Verticom) has been purchased by NTI Connect, a Chicago-based broadband network engineering and deployment company. Based in Dallas with operations across the South-Central United States, Verticom specializes in in-house turnkey solutions for wireless, small cell and fiber providers.

“The addition of Verticom allows us to scale our operations in a new area of the country with enhanced capabilities in the wireless and fiber segments,” said Jim Estes, CEO of NTI. “Verticom’s current base of operations in Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Arkansas, have allowed it to support the recent technology sector growth in the South. In addition, the strength of their people and brand have allowed Verticom to execute direct contracts with many of the nation’s top public and private digital infrastructure companies.”

Led by Jeff Lewis, its founder, president and CEO, Verticom partners with wireless carriers, cable firms, fiber companies, tower and building owners, equipment manufacturers, municipalities and outsourcing firms to design, acquire, develop and maintain the broadband networks.

“This is a great opportunity to enhance our people platform, elevate our strong brand and scale our technology to better serve our customers in support of NTI’s vision to be an industry-leading nationwide digital infrastructure services company,” Lewis said. “Jim, NTI and the entire ORIX team are a group of innovative, passionate leaders focused on maintaining a customer-first mindset, best in class company culture, and superior service delivery model. We are excited for the next stage of Verticom’s evolution which will take us from a Regional superpower, to nationwide deployment teams and ultimately international operations through NTI’s European subsidiary.”

Acquired by ORIX Capital Partners in November 2018, NTI provides services to the networking and data infrastructure companies throughout the United States and in Europe through three operating companies: National Technologies, CCSI Networks and Fairhaven Integration Services. The company’s solutions platform includes fiber optics installation, splicing and testing, data center infrastructure deployment and wireless network engineering and installation.

“We are building a technology services company with unique capabilities to support the next generation of digital infrastructure opportunities and sector growth,” said Chris Suan, president and senior managing director of ORIX Capital Partners. “The acquisition of Verticom strengthens NTI’s position as a provider of wireless and fiber solutions on the cusp of the 5G revolution.”

Heroes of Telecom Awards Celebrate Unsung Telecom Services Leaders

By J. Sharpe Smith, Senior Editor


At the inaugural Heroes of Telecom awards dinner, sponsored by Sitetracker, Alicia Manzi, Segra, was recognized for Project Manager of the Year. The dinner, held on center ice at the the T-Mobile Area in Las Vegas last night, was attended by 200 people from the telecom services industry.

Sitetracker’s Tim May called project managers the unsung heroes of the telecom industry being responsible for moving their companies forward in the building of networks.

Other finalists in this category were James Francisco, Advantage Engineers; Tom Ladik, Advantage Engineers; Joseph Viola, AT&T; and Rowena Okialda, Modus.

Tower Engineering Professionals (TEP) won Best Company Culture.

“[TEP] is guided by hardworking individuals that lead by example. This ignites hard work at all levels of management and production throughout the organization,” Sitetracker’s Guiseppi Incitti said. “At the same time, there is one on one personal time with the team and management. There are team building exercises, ping pong tournaments, hot dog eating contests and a climate that encourages long-term employment and long-term friendships.”

The dinner took place on the ice at a hockey rink in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

Other finalists for Best Company Culture were The CBR Group, Leaf Communications, Modus, Tilman, SAC Wireless, Vertical Bridge, Zenfi, Airosmith; and United Fiber and Data.

Modus was recognized for its achievements with the Corporate Responsibility award. “Modus was the first telecom services company that has been recognized as a Certified B Corporation, which means it operates in a sustainable, inclusive manner,” said Sitetracker’s Brett Cupta. “Modus was three bottom lines: the profit, the people and the planet.”

Lorrie Pope, president, Congruex, was named Most Influential Woman in Telecom. “I was astounded to read about the initiatives the incredible finalists in this category are leading. Each one of these women are incredibly influential in the lives of those around them.” said Sitetracker’s Irene Scher. “Lorrie was the first woman to be hired by a rapidly growing company, which now has 1,200 employees.”

Other finalists were Kim Martin, TEP; Iris Dawson, InRange; Rowena Okialda, Modus; Theresa Baker, T-Mobile; and Carolyn Hardwick, Squan.

Broder posing with Sitetracker’s David George

Vertical Bridge was the Judges Choice award winner. In giving the award, Sitetracker’s Brett Chester quoted some of the nominations, “We are empowered, forward thinking. We show our people that we believe in them. We let them make decisions and to let them learn from their mistakes. Small failures lead to big successes.”

Tilson was named Most Innovative Company for bringing creativity to all aspects of its business, how it handles its internal processes and how it adopts new technologies.

“It has been a wonderful journey at Tilson. We have been on a great growth curve. We are growing across the country,” said Josh Broder, Tilson CEO. “I am excited to be part of this telecom family that is going to be deploying 5G this year, next year and for many years after that. It will be a good ride.”

Finalists in the Most Innovative Company award were ZenFi Technologies, TEP, Congruex, Tilson, Modus, United Fiber and Data; and Keypoint Communications.