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BAI goes above ground as it completes acquisition of ZenFi Networks

Victoria Lamberth cropped.jpg

ZenFi Networks is now part of BAI Communications following a deal agreed in July 2022.

Neither BAI nor ZenFi are listed companies, so the price has not been stated. ZenFi, founded in 2013, was backed by private equity. BAI is owned by a number of pension funds and other investors.

Victoria Lamberth (pictured), co-founder and chief revenue officer of ZenFi Networks, said: “We share a cultural and operational alignment with BAI that will ensure our customer-centric approach remains a priority into the future.”

BAI is an acquisitive company that started as Broadcast Australia and has expanded into running wholesale mobile networks for urban metro systems, including Hong Kong’s MTR, Toronto’s TTC, the New York Subway and the London Underground.

ZenFi’s has a large fibre footprint in the New York and New Jersey region, where it has been focusing on building a small-cell network.

Lamberth said: “Our combined expertise in fast-growth segments like small cell deployment with BAI’s global scale and reach puts the BAI Group in an exciting position to drive increased connected infrastructure growth overall and new development opportunities for our people.”

ZenFi has over 1,100 fibre route miles (1,700km) in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, and customers include wireless carriers in the area.

The fibre network connects into major data centres and points of presence in 65 network edge colocation facilities, a critical component of its cloud RAN (C-RAN) infrastructure.

The expanded group said the deal will allow it to participate in Link5G, the next phase of LinkNYC, a communications network that has replaced payphones across New York City with state-of-the-art kiosks equipped with free high-speed Wifi, maps, connections to city services, and device charging at no cost to taxpayers or users.

Igor Leprince, group CEO of BAI Communications, said: “I am very impressed with ZenFi’s talented team and commercial capabilities. Bringing ZenFi into the wider BAI Communications group solidifies our position as a leading connected infrastructure provider in North America and increases the opportunities for new and specialised projects driven by our

Ray LaChance, co-founder and CEO of ZenFi Networks, said: “Our team’s hard work in developing sustainable, equitable, and innovative infrastructure solutions for a densely populated region like New York City and New Jersey has been a rewarding experience that will now scale up.”

The December/January issue of Capacity magazine will carry an interview with BAI Communications’ CTO, Brendan O’Reilly.